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View Diary: Can Democrats Really Afford To Forfeit The Votes of 46 Million Smokers? (226 comments)

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  •  I think soda should be taxed the same way (8+ / 0-)

    tobacco and alcohol are.

    Even if it's "Diet."

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:57:38 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Now Share With Me One Good Reason Why? (4+ / 0-)

      I swear you people are gonna honest-to-God bury the Democratic Party's prospects of winning elections with your calls for relentless financial assaults against the poor.

      •  Because sugar is one of the main factors (7+ / 0-)

        behind rising healthcare costs, and allow Republicans to scream bloody murder about things like 'Obamacare'.

        Without the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the country, which is not a matter of 'sin' or 'moral failings', but is a direct result of food products directly designed to turn us all into 'addicts', our national debt would be lower, as would our deficits, and we wouldn't have an overburdened healthcare system.

        •  Wrong.....Old Age Is The Main Factor...... (0+ / 0-)

          .....behind rising health care costs.....that and America's uniquely dysfunctional and wasteful health care delivery system.  But how offensive the premise is to you as a medical professional, and I can understand how you'd bristle at this libertarian argument, but tobacco and sugar are both responsible for reducing health care costs because they lower life expectancies......which is why "sin taxes" as health care user fees is the diametric opposite of reality.

          •  Sorry, you're just wrong. (10+ / 0-)

            As a health professional, I've actually had classes on treating older adults, and the honest truth is that much of the ill health issues we as a society consider 'normal' to aging, simply aren't.  They're the result of long term exposure to unhealthy environments or chronic conditions established in prior years, not a function of aging itself.

            Many older people stay healthy to the day they die, and the 'secret' to that is a healthy life all along, so that you don't have to treat the resulting problems from an unhealthy youth.

            •  Wow You Are Really Putting Yourself Out On A Limb. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril

              ....here.

              Are you seriously telling me that a nation poised to quadruple its incidence of Alzheimer's disease because of its unnaturally expanding life expectancy will actually SAVE money as a result of that?  And the decades per person worth of intensive nursing home care that will result in that?  While smokers and overweight people who die at 65 is where our real health care costs are?  

              Unfortunately, it's pretty clear we're gonna have to learn this lesson the hard way.....the VERY hard way where a nation of bean-sprout eating Mike Bloomberg followers are told the day they turn 65 that the Social Security and Medicare money is all gone....and they'll have to fend for themselves.  That's the nation's future if we keep living in this fantasy world.

              •  Well, for one, I'm telling you I don't think (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wu ming, allergywoman, ER Doc, skohayes, fluffy

                Alzheimer's is a function of the aging process.  Last I'd heard, they hadn't traced it back to original antecedents, but not everyone who lives 'X years' automatically gets it, which pretty much means it's either genetic or environmental in nature (or some mix of the two).  Finding the actual causation will determine whether or not there's an easy way to reduce incidence, and therefore costs.  Simply killing everyone who reaches a certain age to 'save money' is the laziest way to solve any problem.

                And now you've morphed onto the 'OMG, there's no more SS money' argument.  You're really cleaning up on putting out those RW talking points today.

                •  It's Hardly A Right-Wing Talking Point...... (0+ / 0-)

                  It's simple math.  Are you implying the money will all be there for Social Security and Medicare if we go on autopilot?  Just trying to get a handle on your level of alternative reality here.  I don't think there's a single Democrat in Washington who doesn't think these programs have pending funding problems....or that a glut of more old people living longer will expedite those funding problems.

                  As for the "simply killing everyone who reaches a certain age to save money" meme, it's not a matter of killing people, it's a matter of allowing people to a live a risky lifestyle at their discretion, which just happens to offer the fringe benefit of lower costs to society.  Understand that I'm not advocating smoking and obesity, only the freedom to engage in them without unjust state persecution based on lies about costs to society.

                  •  It's a temporary demographic bulge issue (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    allergywoman, a gilas girl

                    and can be completely 'fixed' simply by raising the SS income cap.

                    And if we can get a handle on obesity, we can drastically cut medicare spending to boot.  A hell of a lot of healthcare dollars are blown on treating individuals with chronic conditions that are preventable, but not prevented simply because 'freedom!'.  

                    We make a big deal over individual rights, such as the right to be suckered by corporations into indulging or overindulging in their products through slick ad campaigns and research into how to make their products ever more irresistible.  Is the freedom to be treated like a rube and parted from your money for things that you're being told you want really that important?

                    What if, instead, we tried telling people how to enjoy life in ways that didn't lead to self-destruction, rather than cheering on the 'freedom' to go to Hell in a handbasket simply to fatten corporate profits?

          •  You turned "one of the main factors" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md

            Into no, something else is THE main factor. And, you're missing the main point -- the last car on the train is always the caboose. If smoking lowers life expectancy and N% of healthcare costs per person come at the end of life, guess what? They just come earlier.

            Why don't you go fight for a progressive tax code and stop blowing smoke at us?

            I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

            by voicemail on Sun May 12, 2013 at 12:08:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is simply not true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrybuck, ER Doc, JamieG from Md

            the costs of aging are not responsible for the greatest health care costs.

            It is the costs of treating and managing chronic diseases (especially those that are presenting in younger and younger populations, like heart disease and diabetes).  

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sun May 12, 2013 at 01:54:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thought Experiment..... (0+ / 0-)

              Who do you think ran up the highest lifetime health care bill.....former-President and long-time Alzheimer's patient Ronald Reagan....or former Beatle and short-time lung cancer patient George Harrison?

              Do you really think a nation of more Ronald Reagans and fewer George Harrisons results in lower medical costs?

        •  that's the trap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27

          Conservatives get to attack universal healthcare from the elitist and populist sides simultaneously, and each side amplifies the other.

          On the one hand "you're gonna have to pay for that lard-assed fat fuck's diabetes" and on the other hand "commu-socialist govenmint is going to take away your Mountain Dew." Every time they get any traction on one side of that equation, the other side gets stronger, and so on.

          To defuse that feedback loop you have to pick one side or the other, and make it extremely clear that either rich people won't be forced to pay for poor people's choices, or poor people won't be forced to alter their behavior to save rich people money.

          For whatever reason progressives seem to love the rich peoples' favorite solution here, "nudge" taxes. That way the poor have their behavior constrained, the rich are immune since the tax amounts are low enough, and it helps bolster the conservative case that people need to "deserve" government services. Which backs up drug testing for welfare and everything else.

      •  And I swear to god that people like you (6+ / 0-)

        Who believe that only the poor have bad lifestyle habits, really make me want to kick the shins of every libertarian I know.

        Do I really have to explain why soda is unhealthy?

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun May 12, 2013 at 11:12:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You Don't Have To Explain Why Soda Is Unhealthy... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i love san fran, kyril

          ....but you do have to explain why it's any of government's business to micromanage its people's choices to consume unhealthy soda.

          •  No, we don't have to explain (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            fluffy
            Hidden by:
            jncca

            Trying to explain anything to Losertarians is a waste of time.

            •  "Losertarians"? Sounds Like Something Mark Levin. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jncca

              .....would say.  Thanks for such a gutteral contribution to the debate.

            •  HR for personal attack, calling a longtime user (0+ / 0-)

              (who i very much disagree with, mind you) a loser.

              20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

              by jncca on Sun May 12, 2013 at 01:47:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  because people's individual choices to consume (0+ / 0-)

            unhealthy soda have in both the short and long run very serious social and public health consequences for the society as a whole.  Which means matters of individual choice are also matter of public policy.

            Both of these things can be true at the same time.

            The same connection between individual choice and social costs that libertarians always refuse to acknowledge.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sun May 12, 2013 at 01:59:43 PM PDT

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    •  I'd agree to this IF all caffine products were (0+ / 0-)

      also taxed.  From soda to tea to 'energy drinks' to coffee.

      •  please explain caffeine's public health problems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, terrybuck

        and how it costs society through people's use of and addiction to caffeine. supporting evidence too, if you don't mind.

        the problem with soda isn't caffeine, it's sugar and corn syrup.

        •  Sorry but that was snark and you missed the other (0+ / 0-)

          point of the above comment where they said 'diet' also.  No sugar in any form.  FYI - HFCS is sugar, hence the fructose in the name.

          Hey I'm addicted to caffeine but hate coffee so use diet drinks for my fix.  Also I'm sure somewhere there is a study finding some link to public health and caffeine but frankly I really don't care.

        •  Caffeine, it increasingly seems, is (0+ / 0-)

          Downright good for you. Or at least coffee is.  Have you been reading the health headlines over the last year? Strong possibility coffee drinking has anti-cancer effects, among other emerging benefits.

    •  Why diet though? It doesn't cause any (0+ / 0-)

      problems.

      •  Because It's Not About Health Problems..... (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca
        Hidden by:
        fluffy

        .....to these people.  It's about shaming those they deem their moral inferiors.  It's the same reason why e-cigarettes, which emit harmless water vapor, are being included in smoking ban language.  Most people pushing smoking bans and sin taxes are more concerned with scoring the schoolyard bully suckerpunch to the gut than they are in public health.

        •  Bloomberg's ban excluded diet drinks. And what (0+ / 0-)

          bans are we talking about? The diary was about taxes and e-cigs are not taxed this way.

        •  Disagree but no need for an HR here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27

          20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

          by jncca on Sun May 12, 2013 at 09:51:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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