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View Diary: SCHIP: The GOP Campaign Against Children (312 comments)

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  •  $9.33 per year (2+ / 0-)
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    The Maven, mariachi mama

    The annual cost of SCHIP is $5.04 billion [NOTE: the $35 billion figure represents the total cost of the program for the re-authorization period].  

    This $5 billion translates to an "out-of-pocket" cost to the US median wage earner of $9.33.

    I firmly believe that, if more taxpayers were aware of how much such programs actually cost them "out-of-pocket" - in this instance, one fast food lunch for two to help cover health care for millions of kids - they'd be much more inclined to vigorously support the investment and to wonder why anyone would oppose it.

    So - why in hell don't elected and candidate Democrats discuss SCHIP in these terms?  Why in hell do they, and the media, insist on tossing around the big, scary numbers like FIVE BILLION!!!!!?

    BTW - we spend $5 billion every two weeks on the Iraq Occupation.

    "You are coming to a sad realization. CANCEL or ALLOW?"

    by sxwarren on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:02:39 AM PDT

    •  Another GOP myth is that Medicaid is forever (2+ / 0-)
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      The Maven, sxwarren

      but not only do you have kids constantly moving in and out of the program due to age, the majority of individuals also move in and out of the program due to changing family fortunes.  There are a good many cases where divorce catapults a family from solidly middle class to welfare queens almost instantly.  In other cases, something as transient as a job loss to something as permanent as a disability or death can cause people to move up and down the economic brackets.

      Now the megarich generally do not concern themselves with this.  In discussing this, it was remarked to me that I knew someone who refused to have health insurance.  However, this person is a former stockbroker who retired at age 38 to manage his own holdings. I still consider him employed but even in his situation, a catastrophic illness could still drain his resources so I am not so sure how wise his decision is.

    •  False Numbers..... (1+ / 0-)
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      Under the proposed funding mechanism, the cost will be hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars per year on disproportionately low-income cigarette smokers.....and $0.00 per year on everybody else watching from the bleachers.  I favor the SCHIP expansion on its merits, but am appalled at multiple levels by the idiotic and predatory way Congress plans to pay for it.

      •  If They Didn't Smoke... (1+ / 0-)
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        ...they would have more disposable income.

        Look, my mom smokes, and has early stages of emphysema.  My dad smoked, and died an early death related to heart disease.  My grandfather died of lung cancer.  I'm well aware that smoking is highly addictive.  But I'm also aware of the strains on our entire economy created by people with severe but avoidable diseases caused by smoking.  And I'm also aware that if you make cigarettes prohibitively expensive for younger people, they're less likely to smoke or at least smoke so much that they become addicted.  

        So, I have no problem paying for this through raising cigarette taxes.  Frankly, I wouldn't mind if we have to raid other sources of revenue to pay for it because the higher taxes drive down smoking rates so much that the tax captures insufficient revenue to keep the program going.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:22:15 AM PDT

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        •  If You Make Cigarettes Prohibitively Expensive... (1+ / 0-)
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 simply grow the cigarette black market, which already accounts for more than a quarter of cigarettes sold in European countries where they also believe they can render market forces nonexistent with artificially high cigarette prices.  As government gets ever-more gluttonous in profiting off of smokers' addictions, the black market is growing leaps and bounds in this country too.  Organized crime and the terrorist group Hezbollah stand to be the biggest beneficiaries of obscene, predatory cigarette taxes.

          The fact that "you have no problem paying for this through cigarette taxes" yet have no interest in contributing yourself renders you a phony.  You're expressing moral indignance at those who don't want to expand children's health care....when your lack of financial contribution to the cause you claim to care so much about tells me that you don't want to expand children's health care least not enough to put forth any personal sacrifice.

          •  OMG, SCHIP HELPS HEZBOLLAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
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            The fact that you continue to deny that everyone is already paying the society and economic costs of smoking doesn't render you a phony, it demonstrates that you're either blinded by your libertarian ideology or you're simply dishonest.

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:00:39 AM PDT

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          •  Cigarette smuggling still flows north (0+ / 0-)

            and British Tobacco partnered with N. Korea to establish a cigarette factory there with split ownership after the tobacco company was asked to leave a couple of other countries due to their factory producing bootleg cigarettes for the Chinese market.
            China, while the world's largest producer of tobacco, produces mostly low grade leaf due to the use of low nitrogen "nightsoil" fertilizers.  The Chinese have already protested but the N Koreans insist the ciggies are produced for domestic consumption only.
            Unlike many bootleg products, most bootleg cigarettes are produced by the companies themselves. In the US, Indian reservations are the major source for bootleg ciggies, at least on the east coast.

            By and large, in many states, the states have suffered financially by not imposing higher taxes. Anyone got a current tax table handy for each state?

        •  I understand your point. (0+ / 0-)

          I smoke (deliberately, I might add) and yet I have no problem paying higher taxes on cigarettes.  I do, however, also understand the concerns about the developing black market.  Cigarette taxes (as with alcohol taxes) may be an isolated instance where the Laffer Curve actually does apply - there is undoubtedly a point beyond which returns on the taxation rate begin to diminish and/or begin to create more problems than they were intended to mitigate.

          I should also note that most members of my extended family have smoked, back through my great grandparents.  All survived into at least their mid-70s and several into their mid-80s.  None of those who did smoke have had any lung problems except my maternal grandfather who set lead type in a printing plant for 45 years (and rarely smoked).  The only one who had heart disease, my maternal grandmother, never smoked.   None of this means, of course, that I won't have lung problems down the road, but I have other specific issues that will likely kill me before they have a chance to develop, so . . .

          "You are coming to a sad realization. CANCEL or ALLOW?"

          by sxwarren on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 11:59:45 AM PDT

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      •  I stand corrected about the revenue source. (0+ / 0-)

        However, the point remains that, even if all the funding were taken from Federal Income Tax revenues, the cost to the individual taxpayer would be minimal compared to the benefit derived.

        And my secondary point stands, I think - that if more taxpayers knew what their proportionate cost actually was for these various programs, instead of only hearing the gargantuan numbers kicked around, they might come to wonder why the "fiscal conservatives" are so adamant about cutting them to provide tax cuts for the wealthy.

        "You are coming to a sad realization. CANCEL or ALLOW?"

        by sxwarren on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 11:40:41 AM PDT

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