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Sin Cannot Be The Long Term Plan

2134 words - 9 pages

The “sin tax” includes goods such as alcohol and tobacco. Sin taxes are “taxes on commodities and activities which the society finds to be harmful” (Newman. 2003, Section IIB, para. 1). “Sin taxes” have been used to help change or curb unhealthy habits in society, and have also been used as a quick source of income when governments are in need. Not all Americans smoke and drink alcohol, but every American that desires health care (and is willing to pay for it) should be afforded the right to have health care. Taxing those that use the “sin taxed” goods to help pay for others health care cannot be the government’s long-term plan for covering the rise in health care costs. Although “sin taxes” have helped to cover some of the costs in some states, the revenue and the downsides of raising prices on these goods itself are unstable and should not be counted on, planned for, or used for others to receive health care.
Smoking, drinking, and unhealthy diets that are heavy in sugars carry a higher risk for bad health and anyone partaking in those habits or lifestyles should ensure they have the proper health care in place to ensure that their habits aren’t a burden on society. According to an article from Mayo Clinic (June 2013) “Risk factors for many common and chronic diseases are directly linked to tobacco smoking, drinking alcohol, eating too much low-quality food and physical inactivity,” which leads you to believe that smokers, drinkers and unhealthy eaters will require higher health care costs during their unhealthy lives well beyond the premium that consumers pay each month whether they are sick or not. This can be argued that those that don’t partake in unhealthy habits will in time cost society much more due to longer life spans leading to longer term health care than those that are “sinning” (Watson, C 2012). Using “sin tax” revenue to provide health care to those who cannot afford it whether it is for tobacco or alcohol related diseases or not should only be used as a short-term revenue source to provide health care and not the long-term plan. The care given through the “sin taxes” can and will fluctuate due to demand for the products. If smokers stop smoking due to rising costs or no new smokers become available to make up the difference of what is needed to provide health care then those that are being treated through “sin tax” funding will need funding from other sources or will receive poorer health care due to the lack of funding. “The honest way to raise more revenue would be to raise income tax rates,” said Peter L. Faber, a tax lawyer in New York. “But it is more politically attractive to tax these kinds of things. No one can get mad at you for taxing people who drink too much.” Taxing a different source or many different sources by much lower percentages may provide a much more solid avenue to produce the long-term guaranteed funding that health care needs.
The downside of the “sin taxes” has hit some of our major cities...

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