Thursday, February 5, 2009

Finally, cigarettes may save lives.

At the behest of the Obama administration, Congress passed a $32.8 billion expansion of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program, pronounced S-chip), which President Obama promptly signed

The bill, which was supported by forty Republicans in the House, expands SCHIP from seven million to eleven million children. Plans are to pay for the increased number of kids by raising the Federal tobacco tax. 

Some may say that's unfair, but the fact is that tobacco usage ends ups costing the government directly and indirectly, not just in terms of greater Medicare costs but also in health problems children incur as second-hand smokers. 

The one thing I don't like about this, though, is that we are relying on a vice (a presumably bad thing we would like to reduce in society) in order to pay for a good, sort of like running a state lottery in order to cover educational expenses in the budget. 

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