Monday, June 22, 2009

More Soda Addiction

Just when we thought that the dreaded soda tax was going to simply go away when Governor Paterson withdrew it from last spring's budget negotiations, we now see it reappear on the federal level-proposed to help fund the president's trillion dollar health care package: "Early work on the ambitious health care overhaul the Obama administration is seeking has exposed the kinds of in-house fights that typify just how hard it will be to get meaningful legislation this year. Case in point: A proposal to help bankroll universal health coverage with a dime-a-can increase in the price of soft drinks."

So when candidate Obama said that he wouldn't raise taxes on 95% of all Americans, he was leaving out all of the possible levies that will be needed for funding ObamaCare:

"The final price tag for that effort could top $1 trillion, with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid covering the rest of the cost.

The tax options include:

- Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.

- Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.

- A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers' health care expenditures.

- Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels - a less likely option but one that still is in the running."

One trillion dollars for a health plan that could very well end up with this country having a single payer-Medicare-style-system that will, as Dr. Marc Siegel writes in the NY Post, cause chaos, mayhem, and a substandard system of care for all: "The bottom line, I think, is that primary-care physicians fear that near-mindless efforts to find cost savings -- the kind we've seen in existing government programs, and spreading to private plans -- will irrevocably damage our very ability to practice, to prevent and treat illness. We're told a "public option" will mean insurance for people who now don't pay -- but it seems to me, based on hard experience, that it will mean worse health care for everyone."

All of which makes the front page NY Times poll story, not only mendacious, but fantastical as well. The idea that 72% of Americans support a Medicare-like system is as fraudulent as the poll's methodology. And, one thing we can be sure of; if anything resembling the Obama plan is ever enacted, then the soda tax that is proposed will only be the beginning of a tax assault-one made necessary by the expanding public health care Leviathan.