Sin Taxes And Health Care Prices How Sin Taxes Can Lower Or Raise Health Care Prices

874 words - 4 pages

“In Canada, the federal excise tax on a carton of cigarettes is $17 (about 19-20 USD), according to background material released with the study.” (Kirkley) Sharon Kirkley, a senior medical reporter for Postmedia News, has studied the cigarette and tobacco related deaths in Canada and how the “sin tax” affects the death rate. A rise in the price of “sin taxes,” taxes on alcohol and tobacco, would help the price of American health care decrease.
Even though health care prices vary in the United States of America, the prices are mainly expensive for each adult citizen and family. Alcohol and tobacco can cause serious injuries, deaths, and major life lasting health problems. Why doesn’t America ...view middle of the document...

Military personnel and their dependents, as well as veterans, are provided health care coverage through the federal government. Older Americans depend upon Medicare and low income mothers and children, as well as some disabled persons in the U.S., receive health care assistance through Medicaid.” (“The U.S.” nlm.nih.gov) The men and women who do not pay for their health care directly will probably not be affected by a rise in “sin taxes” unless they are heavy smokers or drinkers. If a government election was summoned on whether or not to raise the taxes on alcohol and tobacco, some senators and/or house representatives could be biased because they and their family do not have to pay for health care.
Although the total federal tax was changed from $0.39 to $1.01, a $0.62 increase per carton of cigarettes (“Federal” lung.org), this is not enough in relation to health care prices. If health care prices were to decrease there would need to be a significant increase in taxes on alcohol and tobacco. The tax would need to “equal to their cost to society in medical terms” (Millman). Health care would then be compared to the free health care in Canada. It is not necessarily free in the North. According to Canada’s national health care website, “Publicly funded health care is financed with general revenue raised through federal, provincial and territorial taxation, such as personal and corporate taxes, sales taxes, payroll levies and other revenue.” (“Health” hc-sc.gc.ca). Public taxation would benefit the country and lower medical care prices...

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