Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Size That

Poor Michael Bloomberg, health activist and Mayor of New York City.  A judge has struck down his attempt to ban non-diet, sugary soft drink sales at NYC eateries.  Bad idea right from the start.  He would have been better off with a sin tax approach.  Bloomy was willing to exempt diet sodas,  which was another bad idea.  Let's say 25 cents on any soft drink 16 oz. or under, and 50 cents over that.

I've always wondered; If we got rid of every government funded medical program, took all the money we spend on them, add all the tobacco tax money, alcohol taxes, add a soda tax, and a surcharge on all restaurant meals, would we have enough cash to pay for single payer?  I wish I had the resources to do that math, because I bet we'd be close.

One of the great political feats of the right has been their successful campaign to get people thinking of taxes as this separate thing in their lives.  The reality is, increased taxes to pay for a true, federal health care program, would actually mean less out-of-pocket money, over the course of an average life, than we now spend as individuals.  I don't know about anyone else.  But, if my lifetime health costs went down, I wouldn't care that I was paying the government rather than an HMO.  

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