Tax Soda to Fund Medicaid

How important is Medicaid?

Seriously. If Medicaid is a vital program, then why should it be subject to unsustainable funding schemes and continued political gamesmanship?

If we can agree that paying for health care for our state’s poor is a worthy program, and if the Federal government is picking up 75% of the tab, then shouldn’t our legislators figure out a way to put it on firm financial footing?

Today’s E-J editorial comes out in favor of increasing the tax on cigarettes, ostensibly to make “cigarettes more expensive so that more smokers are enticed to quit and fewer young people ever start.” Of course, the additional tax revenue doesn’t hurt either. But, if increasing the tax on cigarettes is intended to decrease the pool of smokers paying the tax, then why risk the financial future of a vital program like Medicaid on such an unsustainable revenue stream?

A tax of a few pennies [ed. note: I haven’t run the numbers, but you get the idea.] on a can of soda would be a far superior method to fund Medicaid. It would be sustainable and would spread the cost to a much larger pool of consumers instead of piling on an additional tax on smokers. And, using E-J’s own line of reasoning, Mississippi currently has the lowest tax in the nation on a can of soda, well below the national average. Even many soda drinkers would agree with this tax increase. If it weren’t for the lobbying influence of Big Soda then the soda tax would have been enacted years ago.

Enough sarcasm.

It’s time to begin thinking like problem-solvers instead of passing another tax increase on an underrepresented minority. Fund Medicaid — Tax soda now.

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3 Responses

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. […] Justice, Mississippi hospital tax, mississippi politics, Universal Health Care I just read an interesting blog that proposed instead of taxing cigarettes that we tax soda to fund Medicaid.  Now before […]

  3. Thank you for the kind words

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