Health officials have once again raised the suggestion of a tax on soda and sugared drinks to thwart obesity.
This issue comes up every few months, each time a bunch of doctors get together and decide this is a pretty good idea, hoping that maybe by now everyone will have forgotten how much they hated it the last time.
This proposal isn't in the health care reform bill yet, but I'm guessing that those doctors have timed their recommendation in hopes of getting it in.
Here's my feeling on the matter -- disagree if you will.
Aside from the fact that this just won't get people to stop drinking soda, soda should not be compared to cigarettes. Unless you are a tobacco company, and even then, you probably can't disagree that cigarettes are really bad for you. Really, to me that's like arguing that the sky isn't blue.
Tobacco is directly and singularly linked to higher rates of death and disease, while soda is only a contributor to obesity.
Why penalize the people who want to treat themselves to a mug of root beer once in a while? It's all about moderation. BTW this burger joint down the street from me makes the best darn homemade root beer you ever tasted, and I'd gladly pay twice what they charge to have it as a treat once in a while.
Another CafeMom suggested that the solution to obesity is not taxing sweets but dangling incentives for people to make healthier lifestyle choices in general.
"If someone is not healthy and chooses to be fat and unhealthy that is their choice. Should they pay the same for health insurance as someone like me who does eat right, drinks water, exercises and stays fit? No way. I should get a break on what I pay since someone like me is not a burden on the health care system. We should pay less. I go to the doctor once a year for a physical same goes with my husband and children. One of my kids has never been sick and she is 16 years old. My other kids have had three colds between them. Seems we are doing our part to keep costs low and we should see a break. If someone wants to be fat and unhealthy, they are choosing to pay more for insurance."
Cigarettes aside, what lifestyle choice does the government have a right to tax?