Since it looks like nationalized health care is a done deal and it appears the United States has run out of money, I have come up with a primer on paying for this wonderful plan. Wait! Someone’s got to pay? What? You think money grows on trees? It comes from the Mint, silly! Before anyone accuses me of being anti-health care, please note that I personally don't have much in the way of health insurance. However, I will admit I do not like buying something sight unseen or paying for this nebulous service on credit. Please feel free to exchange the word “tax” for “fee,” “contribution,” or “assessment.” I personally am favoring the term “duty” as it implies a sense of altruism. Levied duties double in that if it costs more to do something, it might just change ‘bad’ behavior. A two-fer, if you will.
Ten Ways to Pay for Health Care
1. Tax cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. There’s already a tax, but tax some more, and while you’re at it, get the people coming and going, the growers and the users. A smoking habit is a one-way road to lung disease and death. Those with emphysema are straining our health services. They should pay more.
2. Make pot and recreational drugs legal, then do the same as in #1. Supposedly, marijuana is one of California’s biggest cash crops, but the state can’t cash in since it’s not legal. Might as well throw the other drugs on there, LSD, peyote, crack, meth, etc. In addition to a boatload of cash revenue, the border drug wars may die down. If we make our own, why import?
3. Increase the alcohol tax. I know, it’s already taxed, but damned if those alcoholics don’t need more attention via recovery clinics and 12-step programs. Imbibers add to the cost of health care. Duty the makers, too. If hops growers and vintners have to pay to put the product out there, it will lower the demand. You have to get the hops growers and the people who sell beer- and wine-making machines, too. There's going to be a huge backlash of people making their own.
4. Obviously, there must be a surcharge on fast food. Taxing fast food is a two-pronged approach meant to save the environment. In addition to empty calories and God-knows-what added to the offerings, I have a problem with the literal garbage emitted by fast food restaurants: the paper napkins, containers, pop cups and straws. What would Al Gore do?