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July 29th, 2009
08:51 AM ET

What Would You Tax?

All kinds of ideas floating around on how to pay for health care reform. We, on the Heidi show, are especially intrigued by the discussion of taxing certain items. Tax fast food. Tax plastic surgery. Tax health clubs, ring tones, and the old-standby, marijuana. Some of these were put out there to help states deal with their own debts...but we think they could apply to national health care reform too.

We want to hear your ideas - what do you think we should tax to pay for health care reform?

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Bill Dow

    All the discussions about paying for Healthcare Reform are moot, until a hard and fast discussion is had about Tort Reform for Healthcare legal issues. 90% of Doctors are going to refuse to provide services if the healthcare insurance providers stop paying for things like MRI's and other tests often deemed unnecessary, after they were done. But a doctor is not legally protected if these types of tests and exams are not performed, during the diagnosis phase of research on a patient. There are a multitude of issues related to the legal aspects of decisions made which end up costing patients money, but nothing can change if the lawyers don't own up to their impact on healthcare reform. It is ashame that 90% of our politicians are lawyers, and only protect their peers... rather than those of us seeking medical attention, and appropriate health insurance. As an architect, I recognize the liability side to the Doctor's conflicts, but we are an aging population, and we need more attention and care, not less. The current reform will only result in less, as the legal aspects are not part of the reform process to date.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  2. Wendy

    YES, a tax on fatten fast foods. I don't eat fast food and work hard to keep my wieght down, but I work right across the street from one and yes, the people that eat there are fat. Fast foods have been the downfall of our society.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  3. Shorty

    Tax strip clubs, alcohol, both in bars, and in stores, and adult businesses.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  4. Cory

    While taxing everything and anything we use can become a financial burden, I believe that taxing food that it inherently unhealthy (such as soda, chips and fast food) makes sense. A minimal tax, like a bottle deposit, is not one that would hurt the wallet, yet it could generate billions of dollars to pay for health care. Think of it as a user fee that is equitable. The more unhealthy food you buy, the more you'll need health care and the more you'll contribute to the cost. It might even get people to change behavior. This sort of tax is logical and directly connected to the behavior that impacts health. Even my teenage son agrees that this makes sense.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  5. Kathie

    If Americans really want to know what the Canadian and United
    Kingdom or other heath cares systems are about or how they
    operate , sit down at your computer and google the TRUTH.
    Instead, you sit there and listen and discuss and ponder the
    lies spread by people like Liz Cheney and the republican parties,
    whose pockets are being lined by the lobbiests for insurance
    companies and other health care corporations.
    I'm truly disappointed in John Roberts and his interview skills.
    He is an Canadian expatriot, who knows exactly how our system
    works. Does he hold their feet to the fire and ask the hard questions?
    NO! He should be letting the people know by his own knowledge
    and hard questions and not letting them double talk and wiggle
    out of giving the truthful answers.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  6. Peg Shambo

    Well, I hope they don't put ANOTHER tax on cigarettes! It's ridiculous. They want folks to quit. They raise the taxes on cigarettes. Then folks decide it's too expensive to smoke, so quit. Then the gubbamint collects less in tax revenue.

    How about taxing bikinis and skimpy clothes? Or those designer stiletto heels?

    How about taxing anything made of leather? That would sure help, what with all the leather couches, handbags, shoes, jackets, and car seats. (Can you say "fine Corinthian leather"? LOL)

    How about a premium tax on computer games? Especially the violent ones!

    How about an extra motor vehicle tax on gas guzzlers? The more fuel efficient a car, the lower the DMV tax. Then let's see how many Escalades and Hummers are on the road!

    Monopoly has "Luxury Tax." So, let's implement one!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  7. Wendy

    PS- No, you don't tax health clubs, that's the solution, the remedy. You tax the cause – fast foods.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  8. suhail khan

    read most of comments and some said tax fast food please thats the food for really hard working american yes there r lots of lazy bump but that is what they can afford TAX PLASTIC SURGERY TAX DOCTORS WHO CLAIM 900 DOOLARS AS NO SHOW CHARGES

    July 29, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  9. Michael Reynolds

    I say TAX the one thing that has truly replaced God in the hearts of many Americans, Sports!
    Especially football. If they would tax alcohol, anything to do with sex, and sports, they would be able to pay for a great many things that benefit the decent people of this country!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  10. D. E. Sands

    We should not raise taxes to support Goverment Healthcare. Not their business. Congress should address Tort Reform to reduce costs.
    Also anyone who visits a Doctor should have to pay minimum of $10
    to reduce excessive doctor visits and would put money into system.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  11. Donna R.

    You can't convince me that the Blue Dogs are concerned about our options. Somebody is giving them some goodies to hold things up. Come on guys–earn your moocho bucks and stop playing your games. How about no salary raises until this is taken care of!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  12. michael armstrong sr.

    All the other fun things that we do has been taxed so why not tax sex.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  13. Mike Posey

    On the "fat tax". My wife is 60 years-old. She weighs 125 pounds, is five foot seven inches tall....she's been that size ALL her life...she worked for 25 years as a medical professional, retired at 49. She never had kids. She eats sensibly, doesn't exercise alot, and looks GREAT without her clothes on! Yee Hah! I see fat women half her age wearing SHORTS and can REALLY see what this "fat tax" is about. My wife has to pay the SAME for health care, as some woman half her age who has allowed herself to get obese, be a candidate for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems....My wife has kept her 38-28-36 figure all her life, by NOT eating like a truck driver, and I'm sure not having children was a part of it....but the women we see daily, 30's and younger, who are plainly obese, they are definitely going to be a BURDEN on the health care system in this country. Outside of a bit of arthritis, my wife is in good shape. She doesn't have diabetes, her heart is good, and she has no other health issues. That's because she passed on the fast food, still does, eats about 600 to 800 calories a day, enough to feed her and keep her healthy, takes vitamin supplements, and pretty much treats her body like it ought to be treated. I couldn't help but notice those fat people in your opening piece.....It's a crying shame that people let themselves get that way, and then get all the diseases associated with being fat, and then expect to be taken care of by someone? My wife is an example of how you stay fit, and still, from time to time enjoy a decadent Mexican dinner, or an occasional fast food lunch...I do the cooking have since we got married. We eat most of our meals at home. I cook gourmet quality foods....We use turkey meat, which I season up to taste like beef, instead of ground beef. We use skim milk, instead of "high test". Neither of us is obese, although I have a mild case of Type II diabetes. I am 62, but overall in good shape, in spite of chronic kidney disease, a colostomy, and problems with diabetic neuropathy. My Dad and Mom were diabettics, I got it at 55, and have controlled it well, with small amounts of insulin. It is well controlled because I do NOT eat a bunch of food that isn't good for me. As a nation we have to exercise some discipline.....I see fat people daily. I feel sorry for them, I also see them as the reason our health care system, already a good one, is so strained. My wife and I get fine health care from Medi-Care, and Medi-Cal....we're on prescription health plans, But we don't under any conditions let ourselves get fat.....Death to me, and antithema to my wife, who enjoys being looked at for her great figure, even at 60.....No excuse for those fat's a simple matter of discipline....You can blame ethnicity, lack of places to buy "good" food, all those arguments, but it essentially is a matter of discipline. And we, as Americans, as far as food is concerned are woefully lacking discipline.....In Japan, few people die of heart disease....because they don't get overweight, eat alot of fish, and their basic carb is rice....a good, and nutritions food, which my wife and I eat.....I spent much time in that part of the world, as a soldier, back in the day....I saw few obese Viet Namese, Thai's, Cambodians, or Laotians, Japanese, Chinese, or Koreans....being fat in those countries is NOT's because of WHAT they eat, and HOW they eat it....I've eaten there, and enjoyed the cuisine. Many veggies, not alot of meat, and unsaturated fat oils.....and they live fovever....I ran into many Orientals in their 90's, that still WORKED outside farming rice....great shape, sharp, and going strong.....not uncommon over there....Over in this country, over half the people I see wearing shorts, are obese, and look MORE obese in shorts. Rule of thumb for me: If you are OBESE, DO NOT wear shorts. You look even fatter.....just my thoughts on that one.....My wife looks fabulous, and she doesn't wear shorts......Mike and Val Posey

    July 29, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  14. marsh

    if u tax fast food you only hurting the poor. the poor depend on cheap food. i would say tax wanted thing instead of needed thing. beach hotels, large entertainment events holes over 250 pple. and a SIN tax
    alcohol,smokes, adult entertainment. my state has yearly car tax.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  15. Teryl Bishop

    How about taxing the ignorance in Washington? That should bring in plenty to pay for their stupidity!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  16. Criag

    I would tax video games. I enjoy them but still find time to be active. Most kids don't try and find the time. Help get them back outside!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  17. Katalin

    definitely junk food

    July 29, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  18. Norm

    Marijuana has be illegal for way to long now . They need to rethink and reform laws. Every dime made from government Medical Marijuana could be used toward health care.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  19. anthony

    I would tax the fast food and marijuana..Also would tax.

    Mother In laws when they stay over you house for more than 2 days..

    July 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  20. Calder

    When did it become acceptable for the government to decide what we put on our plates and punish us if we choose something else? Technically, we would still be free under such a system, but who thinks that if the government is willing to tax such things a small amount (cigarettes) they won't eventually try to tax them out of existence (cigarettes). You may agree or disagree that such things should be done away with, but it detracts from the freedom that makes this country great. Bureaucrats don't belong on my kitchen table.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  21. akira chihiro

    The only people that are against the "fat tax" are the obese people which is about 40% of the country. I'm sure with this tax, you will see this percentage decrease over the years. I've heard size 8 is now the average size for women, but our size 8 is really size 10 or 12 in europe and asia. Sad...

    July 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  22. Joe

    Tax legalized marijuana, it's just a plant!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  23. Matt

    I'm skinny. But, I like eating fast food. Why should I be taxed for all the fatties that cannot control themselves?

    July 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  24. Don

    First start by removing all junk foods from food stamp eligibility.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  25. Renee McKnight

    We do not have a Health Care System, We have a Sick Care System. There does not need to be Any taxes on healthy foods, mainly fruits and vegetables, which actually can be healing to the body.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  26. ron lang

    remove the ceiling on the Social Security Tax. let everyone pay the 7.65% tax on all earnings, no exceptions. all the people who earn over $97,000.00 will have to pay. this would go a long way to solving the health care problems of our country.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  27. Crytopean

    I would not tax anything. Like is typical for Obama and Congress – they make everything complicated. When you buy car insurance you don't expect the insurer to buy your gasoline, pay for tune ups, brake pads, tire rotation or oil changes. The problem is that because of State & Fed regulation – you can't buy a health policy that only covers "major and castrophic care", That is what drives up the cost of health care.

    The second biggest cost of health care is what providers pay for malpractice insurance and what insurance companies pay out in bogus and frivilous law suits.

    Anyone that is serious about health care reform must support allowing insurers to provide A LA CARTE CATASTROPHIC HEALTH Insurance and they must also support CAPPING the amount that can be won in Malpractice Cases. Anyone who does not support both these things (like the president) doesn't understand what causes high cost and worse, is disingenuous.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  28. Jody

    Why not tax the companies providing the unhealthy products/foods? Aren't they truly the ones responsible for the poor health? They offer the products by tricking and manipulating through advertisements and marketing...sure kids, get a toy and a clogged artery. They are making millions off these people daily. Why tax the victims? They aren't the ones who can afford it.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  29. Louis S

    You cannot legislate human behavior or robe Peter to give Paul.
    Every person is personally responsible for their conduct and have to pay the consequence of their mistakes.
    It applies to variable interest loans or fat food.
    What the socialist on the government whats to do is assume that we all stupid and we need big daddy central government to guide us.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  30. Rita

    FAT TAX!!? so we all get penalized because obese folk can't keep their mouths shut? What a stupid idea. Only a politician could come up with this silliness. Fast food restaurants have provided low cost menus during this recession. I'm sure there are people eating only because of fast food restaurants.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  31. Eric

    Tax congress. $1 for each word that comes out of mouth that doesn't answer the question that was asked of them.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  32. Bryan Clark

    I'd tax per word the bill that comes through Congress.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  33. Anna

    Tax alcohol – and marijuana! Fat drunks and stoners need to be reprimanded.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  34. Kristin Noelle

    I'm not sure who suggested taxing health clubs but that seems counter-productive. Taxing plastic surgery would affect a disproportionate number of women who not only earn less than their male counter-parts, but are frequently judged on their looks when applying for jobs.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  35. Teri Lemman

    We should tax businesses like Kmart which on the front page of its back-to-school flyer in this Sunday's paper, featured "SNACK TO SCHOOL." The ad almost exclusively featured candy bars and energy drinks. Shameful, socially irresponsible and Exhibit A in this country's obesity epidemic.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  36. chris

    I would tax toilet paper that way everyone pays!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  37. Nordine

    I would like to inform you that 150 cal for a can of soda is low, too low.

    In fact, It should be 150 Kcal or 150 Cal(with Cal not cal)

    See my ireport : calorie, what does it mean

     Nordine

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  38. Carmen

    if you are going to tax food then tax it all. You can't just make a list of what you think is fattening and tax just that. If you eat enough of anything it is fattening. Food is required for survival... without it we die. Companies are already charing more for less when you go to the store. Now you want people to go by something for their family of, what is the average size family? 2 or 4? and they have to pay even more to feed them? How is that fair to your regular husband and wife trying to make ends meet in an economy that is against them from start to finish already? In all honesty, if a person is obese because of love of food, they will just find something else to eat or they will pay the higher price. I have friends that still buy a pack of smokes even with the higher price. And I am sure ladies will agree with me... when it is that time of the month no one is going to mind paying more for chocolate. 😉

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  39. DP

    Tax every Representative and Senator that votes for it. Require them to drop their health and retirement programs, cancel their retirement programs. Require them to use Social Security (and pay into it), Medicare, etc. In fact require them to subscribe to everything they pass, no exemptions from the law for any legislator.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  40. Lynda

    Is this turning into the USSA or what. The govt. is telling us what to drive and now what to eat. Do people really believe all these "taxes" will offset anything? Where did the Social Security "tax" go? Are the Senators, Congressmen and President going to covered by the govt. health plan? How about taxing their perks and benefits and leaving the working person alone for a change?

    July 29, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  41. Anne Drover

    I would tax any item which is not good for our health. Although I like sweets, if I make the choice to eat them, I should be willing to contribute via taxes, to help pay for any future health costs. I do think it might become a way to deter poor choices. I wondered why we hadn't done this before it ever came up in recent health care discussions. I would also continue to place higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  42. Stacy

    I would consider increasing the sales tax on ALL PURCHASES (say 1/2 %). All americans would then be helping to pay for health care reform not just those with a job or the wealthy.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  43. Larry

    Alcohol, cigarettes, gambling. Maybe it will help people give up their addictions to these.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  44. Dana

    We should tax payroll and wages at a flat 3% each payday to start paying for universal healthcare. Very similar to what we do for contributions to Social Security.

    If everyone wants healthcare, we should all pay for it – and in a fair and equal manner – whether we are rich, poor, or in between.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  45. Debby McAfee

    I would like to see a 10% tax put on every item we import into this country. We import more than any other country and who does it benefit? It's unbelievable how much food we import even when we grow it here. Maybe it would even keep more jobs here if companies knew it would cost them less to make it here instead of shipping it here. In fact I think alot of other countries tax their imports already. Wouldn't you know that the largest importer around the world thinks about the companies first?

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  46. tobey hockett

    To help pay for health care bill, I would like to to the US require that everyone who wants to drink alcohol to have a license. Lets say it costs $50 a year, that's about $150B a year if half the population drinks, plus the courts could suspend the right to drink for those who abuse that privilege. Please have a discussion on this idea. Thanks!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  47. Virginia H.

    I think we should tax stupidity. Our country would make millions, especially around the DC area!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  48. Linda Dell

    I would tax every elected politician who votes for this Nationalized Health Care catastrophe and I would also tax every person who works for these politicians.

    If they want this takeover of every aspect of our lives then they can pay for it.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  49. Sergio

    If we taxed all references to SEX on TV, including commercials, we would make a trillion dollars, and there would be no need to put further tax burdens on anyone!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  50. C T. Kirkpatrick

    Close all the corporate loopholes before raising taxes.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  51. Eaton Well

    Taxing any processed foods will help natural products compete.
    You could also make the case that some foods are too cheap, making it too easy to eat wrong. Obesity levels have been rising as restaurant portions have been growing and processed foods got cheaper.
    If that contributes to the problem, it should contribute to the solution.
    BTW, vegetarian dishes can be prepared at the same and even lower costs

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  52. Mona Saleh

    I think taxing the poor is the last resort to solve a problem. Solution is to educate the poor about healthy choices, tax the big companies that offer such unhealthy foods, and force these companies to produce heathier foods. It sounds like the burden has to be always on the poor.
    Look for the roots of the problem,

    July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  53. Alecea

    Definitely tax unhealthy foods. It's a shame that when you are poor you have to kill yourself just to eat, or travel so far away to get healthy foods that it takes all day to shop. I found that as my life has gotten better economically, I am able to get things that are better for me a lot easier. Make the healthy, unprocessed foods easier and less expensive to purchase and people, both poor and well to do, will buy it!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  54. SaraK

    YES!! Tax fast food, fatty foods, soda! It would increase tax dollars and might encourage better eating habits among children and adults considering the cost increase. Also, taxing of processed, fatty, fast foods might bring about a greater awareness of the corporations who process and create these "foods" and their role in health care issues.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  55. JZ

    What would I tax? NOTHING. Did our government forget how this country was founded? The British taxed stamps and tea and we got mad. Now taxing foods, clothing, and things we need to live. How about instead of over speanding and getting in a hole then bailing themselves out by taxing the citizens, which had no say in what the government spent money on in the first place, the government should limit spending and become more conservitive like the citizens it represents. We all have to watch what we spend. The government is getting richer at our cost!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:47 am |

    Its hard to believe some of the comments here. The problem is where will they stop once they get going. Whats really needed is Government reform. Smaller Government. We are assuming the Healthcare plan will be better, if its not than we will be footing the bill for a long time. Keep in mind the baby boomers are retiring, this plan is really a legal way to deny them the medical care they where hoping for. THe governent sees them as a burden not as the generation that built this country. Its a sad day in America. We also need term limits to weed out the progressives. I live on Long Island, we pay the highest taxes in the world. Bottomline what will the progressives think is taboo next and will they tax it.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  57. bill

    being that it involves searching to increase tax revenue for our better health why not like the consumer for a change, and not the companies......what i am saying is this, they keep sticking it to the people who smoke with higher and higher tax of cigarettes, look try to understand that to be human is to have weaknesses, and with their product you get hooked and those companies know it, why not tax the cigarette companies more instead of the citizens that use their abusive products (i have never smoked in my entire life).. that goes along with any company that puts out an obvious harmful product and they knows it's bad for us... tax them on their product that they reap large profits on and damage us silly consumers, like soda and twinkies

    July 29, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  58. audrey sue

    Bring back the luxury tax. Include private planes, recreational watercraft, luxury autos, high-end jewelry–the list could go on & on, & as a bonus, it could help improve our environment.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  59. Marguerite G

    NO more taxes!! Lower salaries, retirement benefits, and health benefits of our congressmen. Better yet, give them the same health care benefits that they are planning to give everyone else.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  60. Brandon

    My opinion on the fat food taxing, y? Fat food is food, if you tax fat food you wont have anymore resturants or fast food out there. Therefor everyone in american would be evenmore out of buisness and then are poverty rate would go down even more. If this happen then goodbye government because there will be no more good jobs out there that people can get into. Fast food brings in 40% of jobs. So I think they should think about the downfall more than the uprise.

    Yes I understand that people are getting fat from it, but thats because they don't know when to stop and thats there fault not the community. If anything make it to where the fast food companies can tall the fat people that there cut off for a month till they run all that wait off.

    Also if this happens there will be more starvation deaths in america because many people that go to fast food restaurants go there because they can afford the $1 menu. they go there because there out of a job and cant afford the price of meat and the price of the vegetables and fruit. The government and the health association needs to look at the big picture not the little plaque on there wall.

    Have a nice day america

    July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  61. Bob Noon

    HI, Enjoy your program.
    Why not a flat sales tax of 1/4% across the nation on all sales? That way everybody contributes.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  62. Roger C. in Atlanta

    News from my refrigerator. A 12oz. can of name brand cola has 150 calories, 40g. carbs, and no fat or saturated fat.
    But 12 oz. of 2% milk contains 180 calories, 12g. carbs, 7.5g. of fat and 4.5g. of saturated fat.
    Milk is more fattening than soda.
    Is the government planning to tax milk for contributing to obesity?

    July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  63. A. Hale

    Tax Hollywood. Those people are definitely overpaid for what they do. Hey and while we are talking about taxing people who are WAY overpaid, how about professional sports? When people who make movies and play games make more money than the people who teach our children, protect our streets and our country, there is a problem in the country!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  64. E, Daniel Ayres

    Frankly, asking what to tax at this stage of the game is one more indication of how "broken" our government processes are. Obama ran on a platform of raising taxes on incomes over 250,000 per year at least back to levels before the last round of Bush tax cuts. The congress should enact progressive income tax reforms and close loopholes which allow the rich to get richer while the rest of us suffer. The lies and disinformation regarding health care reform have been some of the worst examples of political rhetoric in the last half century. The so-called "public option" is the only way I see to reign in the insurance industry. The other group which must also be reigned in are lawyers. Tort reform with regard to medical liability is essential.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  65. Scott

    Its hard to believe some of the comments here. The problem is where will they stop once they get going. Whats really needed is Government reform. Smaller Government. We are assuming the Healthcare plan will be better, if its not than we will be footing the bill for a long time. Keep in mind the baby boomers are retiring, this plan is really a legal way to deny them the medical care they where hoping for. THe governent sees them as a burden not as the generation that built this country. Its a sad day in America. We also need term limits to weed out the progressives. I live on Long Island, we pay the highest taxes in the world. Bottomline what will the progressives think is taboo next and will they tax it.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  66. David

    I believe it was in the 1950s the state of West Virginia had a woeful need for hospitals and medical care, and a tax on bottle drinks, of one or two cents, brought in record amounts.

    I would support a similar national tax, as well as unhealthy food.

    Congress should stay in session until Health reform is passed.
    Where was all of the resistance when the blizzard of money was given for tanks, guns, planes, etc for the wars in progress.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  67. Justin B.

    Let's tax everything in a grocery store besides the essentials. When you walk into a grocery store the food along the walls is the healthy essential stuff and unfortunately it is also the most expensive. It's no wonder we American's gravitate toward the center isles filled with "just-add-water" crap. Let's narrow that price gap and, in doing so, encourage healthier eating habbits.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  68. Amy

    I would support a fat food tax. It would make the fattening snacks more expensive, which would certainly take some of their appeal away. I would like to see all the “Fat Tax” revenues collected applied to providing affordable health care, especially for the unemployed. I think this is also a perfect opportunity to make tighter restrictions and exclusions for obese people who use insurance (private or government-assisted) for the variety of weight loss surgeries or procedures currently available. I didn’t bill my insurance company because I got fat. I managed to lose weight the “old fashioned” way, so I should get some kind of reward from my insurance company for that – like a monthly gym membership, which could be classified as preventative…

    July 29, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  69. arlene gonsalves

    Tax all food and drink containing high-fructose corn syrup, corn additives and fillers in meat and prepared foods. Tax manufacturers who add such to food.
    Tax growers of corn-fed beef, chickens and pork, as well as consumers of such.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  70. Crytopean

    Yes of course, let's tax anything with calories. Are you kidding? In this day and age, only skinny people eat fattening products. Everyone else is already trying to lose weight ( or ordering a big mac and diet soda). Our country's obeicity problem is more about a healthy lifestyle of exercise than about diet. If we allow Congress to tax "junk food" who draws the line – maybe they will say we'll tax anything with fructose, sugar or corn syrup because that stuff is bad. Then EVERYONE will pay because those ingredients are in almost everything.

    The poor and middle class will always be the ones who get the screws when Congress starts taxing. Do you think any of the rich stopped buying cigars and cigarettes? How many even middle class people can pay $210 per month for cigarettes. Stay out of our lives. Collect a fair tax on earnings and then leave me alone.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  71. Katy Downs

    It is a great idea to tax foods that are leading causes of obesity. This should be done based on quantities of salt in the product, amount of sugars and fats and amount of calories. So it would a tax on foods that didn't limit those choleserol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes
    content loaded foods that not only make people obese but also can lead to clooged arteries, stroke and heart attack, not to mention cancer.

    I also think that there should be a ":luxury tax." That would include luxury meals (over $20 a person e.g. I wouldn't hold to that number, but certainly anyone paying $50 or more a person for a meal can afford the extra tax on that. Then what about people buying luxury autos with all the trimmings, yachts, jewerly and, yes even mc-mansions.

    A Wall Street Journal article today talked about Health Care in Britian. Of course, criticizing it. (Talk to Ms. Eisenhower, Ike's daughter who lived there about how bad the health system wass! She was never more pleased with it.) Getting back to the point that struck me by the author of that article with regard to a person's "rights" to health care.
    The author said that's like expecting to have "Chicken Kiev every other Thursday." Yes, and Marie Antoinette said "Let them Eat Cake." And we know what happaned to her head.

    Abso;lutely health care is a right. Good, quality health care which comes with individuals, communities, states and the federal government working together to make it affordable and good for everyone. If a person opts to have more than one necessasry test just because they want to, when the basic one suffices, well, then they should pay for it. There has to be a balance between what people want and what they actually need. Let's take that up in a discussion.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  72. Kevin Pritchard

    I recommend taxing candy, cakes, pies, sweet drinks, etc. Basically a sugar tax. At the top of the list should be high fructose corn syrup. However, anything containing a predetermined amount of fruit juice or vegetable content, should be exempt. Likewise, anything containing sugar substitutes such as saccharine, nutratsweet, splenda, etc. should be exempt. We've had enough taxing on gasoline, cigarettes and alcohol. Go for the sugar. In time, the manufactureres will alter their products to avoid the tax and people will adjust their eating habits accordingly. In the meantime, it will help fund public health care and people will begin to lose weight. I think it's a win-win situation.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  73. arlene gonsalves

    How about a national sales tax?

    July 29, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  74. mike pruitt

    aliens take advantage of a law on the books that allows for them to not be taxed for seven years of employment. If this were repealed and they would pay taxes from the start, that would take the burden off the citizens of the U.S. to fund their health care and take away the temptation of staying here for six years and 364 days then leaving for six months and returning for another six years and 364 days.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  75. Nancy

    You need to go to the root of the problem: manufacturers and the food system. They want to use the cheapest ingredients, this includes fruit and vegetables devoid of nutrition, and HFCS instead of sugar. OK, they are in it for the profit and Americans want cheap food – sounds like a match made in Heaven, but if all this set-up does is cost everyone more in shortened life span and medical bills then is this food really such a bargain? Europeans eat very fattening foods yet they are slimmer than Americans (the Dutch, in my observation after living there nearly 2 years, exist nearly exclusively on fried cheese, ham sandwiches, and beer....they also ride their bikes everywhere, but still). Europeans also have REAL sugar in their soft drinks, and their fruit and vegetables are distributed over shorter distances. I would argue the food is healthier, so they either somehow eat less, or their bodies are able to process the food more efficiently. Taxing 'fattening' foods is a short-term and not very productive solution (or fair to a lot of economically disadvantaged people – it just makes a food source less accessible, it doesn't provide an actual SOLUTION). After all, the goal is to be healthy and have a healthy weight, so let's make ALL food better for everyone.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  76. JustMe

    This really makes me upset because the only ones it will affect are the poor and low middle income folks. People with the money will buy what they want to so all it will do is discriminate against the poor for buying unhealthy foods! And I get so tired of the news media and others leaving out of this that there are people that can only eat a few things and they will get punished, too. For example those with chemotherapy that causes VERY PAINFUL sores in their mouth and those with advanced oral planus that even drinking water is painful very painful so many of them can not drink healthy juices can not eat vegetables and in fact some people can not eat hardly anything without severe pain so they have to eat whatever they can that gives the least pain! How do I know? Because I have advanced oral planus and ALL the meds either make me worse, make my sores worse, OR does not help and they have tried me on all of them. By the way check out the drug GELCLAIR for it's price so many can not afford that but it only helps my pain in between eating and does not help the pain when I do eat. Many times I am crying trying to put even baby size bites of food in my mouth and while ALL foods ALL drinks hurt there are some that hurt less than others so do you think I am thinking about how healthy something is?? I use to but now all I think about is eating ANYTHING I can and I am not the only one but as I wrote the rich will keep eating unhealthy if they want to so this is discrimination plain and simple to those that are poor and to those that can not eat healthy foods!

    Oh why not tax all foods that have GMO's in them?? Oh yes big debate with many thinking that is not harmful but that is a matter of opinion and there is creditable information that it is unhealthy, too. But I am with those that say tax the rich more! I remember seeing the video with McCain in it talking about how the rich don't pay their fair share and how they get out of paying many taxes. Oh, I know he walked away from that during this last election but many years ago it was his views then and it is even on video so I am all for taxing those making over a million dollars a year and close some of those loop holes so they do pay their fair share. No, I am not for punishing the rich, just having them pay their fair share instead of then finding ways to get out of paying them. I have a very wealthy family so I am familiar with all the ways they find to get out of paying taxes while it all falls on the middle class folks.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  77. qasim abdul-latif

    Hi Heidi, Im not sure I'd add any new taxes but i would nationalise about 20-25 percent of the oil flowing out of this country and maybe even creat a chain of gas stations and let the people buy from themselves to help pay for health care.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  78. Gary

    I agree with putting a tax on junk foods. I don't agree it would just be a punishment on the poor.

    I think another good taxable item would be a 15% tax increase on "all" alcohol beverages. I don't think the health industry can put an exact dollar amount on what drinking does to your body other than the people who drink so much it's obvious. Not only that but what about the alcohol related auto accidents where innocent people are injured or killed.

    I don't think an alcohol tax would make it to the short list, because some of the people shuffling around likely drink like fish, plus it would step on some very powerful toes!

    Have a Great Day!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  79. Jim McKinley

    Taxing goods is a good way to discourage their use because it raises the price of items taxed. Cigarettes are a great example. Education and taxation have decreased the percentage of the population that smokes. Obesity is caused by excess energy intake relative to energy utilization. We have all heard that we do less (use less energy) and have access to high energy, low cost foods. Taxing such foods is a good idea, but it will increase the cost of "energy" for some who may not be least able to afford it. Another solution that may make sense, especially if we all intend to share the cost of health care, is to tax obesity directly. For example, a person with a BMI of 35 would multiply his total tax bill by 35/29.9. (A BMI of 29.9 is overweight, but not obese. A BMI is considered obese.)

    July 29, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  80. D. E. Sands

    Would you guys listen to what you are Saying??? You fell right into the
    "Taxem Trap". More taxes does not help anyone. As a consumer when
    you have more dollars going out than coming in, you can't TAX someone for Help, you just have to 'Cut Back'. Government learn a

    July 29, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  81. P. Lutz

    You ladies have missed the point in this conversation on taxing people's behaviour.
    This is pure nanny state mentality. We know what is best for you -you have no right to make your own decisions-therefore, we will punish you by taxing you until you alter your behavior to correspond to OUR notion of what you should think, be and do. This is totalitarianism in it's purest form.

    This is also a regressive tax . It WILL hit the poor the hardest. The working guy picks up the fast food and a twinkie because his salary precludes him from purchases the lovely healthy fish fillet that is sold at markets for 6.99 & up, etc. Do you know how expensive "healthy food" is. I do, I shop every week and fix dinner 7 days a week.
    I am a moderate Democrat that believes in across the board health care reform, but this is not the way to finance it.. Lose freedom to bargain for a benefit–no thank you.

    The obvious solution is crystal clearer-tax the rich-tax the upper middle , tax yachts, tax non-primary residences, tax cosmetic surgury, tax the incredibly greedy insurance companies.–But please don't punish the neediest among us !!

    July 29, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  82. Amy

    Shorty, Here in Dallas the bars and restaurants charge taxes! If the drink is $5.50, they've already included tax in the price. I bought a bottle of wine from the grocery store last night and paid my 8.25% tax! Where do you live that you don't pay this tax already? Maybe you should look at your receipts...

    July 29, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  83. Jack L. Crain

    Rather than taxing specific foods we should tax the ubiquitous ingredients that are responsible for causing obesity such as high fructose corn syrup, hydogenated vegetable oils, monosodium glutemate and certain food dies that are a possible threat to health.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  84. Bill

    Heidi, Lets redefine the "Luxury Tax" over a broad range of products and services. I am not an advocate for overtaxing, but who can legitimately complain about increasing the tax on items such as limosines, corporate jets, yachts, and of course perfume. It just makes "scents".

    July 29, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  85. Carmen

    Posts on here just prove that we are a country of idiots. Why would you let the gov't tell you what you can and can't eat? It is FOOD people! You need it to survive! They start with the fast fatty food, wvhich I don't even eat, but I know that once they can get that without a fight then they will go for something else and something else! Where would it stop? When do you say enough? Are you here, in this country, just to pay off a debt you didn't help make? Think people! Stop giving your entire paycheck to a gov't that has proved they will waste it!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  86. E, Daniel Ayres

    One more thing... Taxing so-called "bad" foods is not going to help resolve the fundamental social inequalities which get manifested in lack of health care for the poor and the elderly. In fact, such a tax would make things worse for some of the most oppresed and disenfranchised among us. If we repealed all taxes except taxes on profits and compensation and tightened up the system so that the tax rates were fairly "graduated" instead of calibrated in big "steps" we could reduce the arguments about taxes and use a single measure, the "slope" of the tax rate. The two new parties could be called progressives and regressives.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  87. Katy Downs

    The tax should only be on foods that contain ingredients that contribute to high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, cancer.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  88. Jasmyn

    I understand that we do need to come up with the extra money for the health care reform. But think of this: If the majority of the lower class depend on the "fatty and junk food" because it's cheaper and they can afford it.. What will they be able to afford if the prices on those items skyrocket? They will suffer even more than what they are suffering now and that's not fair. It not only takes burgers, for example, to make a person obese, it also takes a lack of exercise. I have plenty of friends who eat whatever they want and are fit. If we promoted an active lifestyle maybe obesity wouldn't be such a problem. And for the people who feel like America does promote active lifestyles, such as joining gyms, etc.. What about people who can't afford to join a gym or don't have a way to get there? In this economy I think we need to think of how the lower class who is already suffering enough will be effected when taxing something. How about we tax things they can't afford or use like tanning salons, and cosmetic surgery (that is for personal or leisure reasons not medical purposes) since these things are used mainly by people who can afford it during this troubleing time. This economy isn't getting any better no matter what wall street may show, because if it was, my mother, my brother and myself wouldn't still be standing in the food stamp line, fighting with unemployment for missing checks, struggling to pay the bills, and would have found jobs.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  89. Kristin Madison

    What about taxing factory farmed meat? These companies hurt both the consumers' health by producing low-quality, fatty meat and the general public by polluting the environment. Not taxing a product that harms everyone is essentially the equivalent of subsidizing those who choose to eat cheap hamburgers.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  90. Sarah

    Food – PERIOD – should not be taxed. It looks like our governments could do more than starving the already starved. If I'm lucky, I have $60.00 for one week's supply of groceries But out of that mere $60.00 comes $5.40 for tax and that money could go just a bit further, and that hurts a lot of people. Obese people have a problem which is not all their fault. Taxing them every inch of the way is NOT the way to go. We need to put all LRP (limited resource people) in the whitehouse along with all but skinny people. And the big shots who now run the country (out of house and home) need to live on our income. HOW'S THAT FOR A WAKE-UP CALL?

    July 29, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  91. michael armstrong sr.

    Tax the tax.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  92. mirrored smile

    Yes. Tax fatty foods. And why does the U.S. need to waste more money sending people to the moon and space when we have an economic crisis going on, yeah! Forget about "the final frontier" long enough to recover economically. Tax alcohol, it causes problems just like tobacco. Well, yeah, that's my two cents.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  93. D. Creech

    The idea of taxing fattening foods would be an excellent start. The cost of obesity goes beyond healthcare to lifestyle and other people's time. We are fortunate enough to live in a society where we take care of those who cannot work, yet those of us who can (and do) often pay the price for those who can't (or won't). While most of us are more than willing to pay for a system that covers healthcare and disability for those who need it, I believe many of us are sick of paying for the lifestyle choices that result in the huge expenses associated with obesity, smoking, etc. We really aren't crazy about covering for them at work, either. Tobacco is taxed to offset those costs. The same should be done w/ food. Those who are obese because of other reasons will not be affected, while those who continue to make irresponsible food choices will pay for their own diseases. Perhaps dropping sales will encourage manufacturers to stop over processing and putting sugar and fat in everything and to produce healthier products. It would mean our children could buy less unhealthy food with their money. This is a huge problem and it is not going to change until the people creating it suffer the financial consequences of their behavior, and I'm including the manufacturers in this as well. They are, after all, the pushers who supply the drugs that are responsible for obesity.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  94. Dwight Hector

    Social Security I think was originally intended to assist those unable to provide for themselves when they could no longer work. Now everyone, no matter their retirement income level, expects to receive benefits. No one with other retirement income, over some scheduled amount, should receive SSI. This would preserve the social security system, and probably save enough money to fund health care for all those who can't get it otherwise. We would have no destitute people, individuals with other substantial retirement income would barely notice the change and health care costs would come down because everyone has regular medical care. It is our responsibility to do this.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  95. Jason

    Let's face it... Soooooooo many people out there smoke marijuana. Why not just make it legal and like everything else, tax and make rules for smoking/growing it. I'm 100% sure that there are way more people out there who smoke marijuana than the 40% of America that is obese. With the amount of people who smoke it, sell it, and grow it, them alone can help with the economy. Maybe there wouldn't be as much violence and crime when it comes to marijuana because it is legalized. Some people need to stop being so prude and just smoke one.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  96. Amy

    Why create more taxes? I thought we were still waiting for the ever-coming government stimulus assistance?! Is this their way of taking the money back that they just gave out?

    July 29, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  97. Katy Downs

    There should be a tax related to having a single payer system.
    Having lived under one for eleven years in Canada, I know how wonderful it is. And after living in the U.S., and hearing all of the negative propaganda about the Canadian and French health care system has been stomach turning.

    God forbid we should learn from other nations who got it right for their citizens!

    There is no complaint about tax for health care in Canada because no one will ever lose their home, die, go bankrupt, or be told by an insurance company what doctor they can or cannot see, or what prescriptions they may or may not have.

    We should tax these insurance companies out of existence. I would like to see stats on how many people have died in this country because an insurance company got between the doctor and the patient. No one wants to talk about that. How about news anchors getting into that. In Walter Cronkite's day that might have happaned.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  98. kelli, virginia

    I am not willing to have any other thing taxed! the taxpayer already pays too much. My parents, who own a small business already pay 45% of their income in taxes! How much does the government want?! 60%? 70%? Don't have a government run healthcare-have a complete overhaul and regulatory system in place for the insurance companies and pharm companies. that should bring down the prices! and on one more note-the dems refuse to close a loophole that would allow illegals access to healthcare. Sorry-i'm not paying for that! Heidi!! wake up-you seem reasonable! wipe the drool off your laptop and do some objective anchoring!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  99. Helen Chaparro

    How about a health care tax all by itself. Not on any one product. Everyone pays a set amount for health care. I pay right now on Cobra $357.00 a month and this will end early next year. I would be willing to pay and could afford to pay $50.00 monthly to have universal health care. i think most people could afford to pay that for a good health care system. I just want what the congressmen and senators have, the same health care they get from tax payers! If everyone pays $50.00 a month per family it should pay for everyone to have good affordable health care!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  100. Jodi

    I think we need a CHOCOLATE/CANDY tax. As a former smoker who quit because I could no longer afford to smoke, I think a Snickers bar should cost $5.00 a bar. It is NOT FOOD it is CANDY!!! Smokers shouldered the tax burden for our bad habit for years, it's about time fat people were taxed for their bad habit. I have been waiting for years for this day.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  101. Caroline

    I agree with taxing unhealthy choices, but not for the purpose of paying for more health care. Our goal should be lowering costs, not finding more money to throw into a system that provides 33 cents of unnecessary or ineffective care for every dollar.

    Taxing unhealthy food is great in theory, but defining it is problematic. What would probably happen is you would see soda companies throwing some vitamin C in their product to avoid the tax. Either way it is still junk.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  102. Roy Daniel


    July 29, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  103. ANITA

    My husband is black and I am white, we live in VA. If my husband pushes the cart out of Walmart after shopping they stop us and check the reciept, if I push the cart out they smile and say have a nice day without any check.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  104. Chris Staggs

    Based on the obesity figures we have seen it is imperative that we reduce the consumption of processed foods. Many state the poor are the ones that will suffer which I believe is true. However, we have a trade off. If we keep these types of foods in the system and do not reduce their consumptions this will continue to drive health care costs even higher. It's no big surprise that obesity rates in 1963 were 13.4% and now those same rates are 40% and the reason obesity rates are higher is the explosion of fast food restaurants and "junk" or "comfort" foods. I am very ddisappointed that the bevargae lobby has been successful getting their products off the block to be possibly taxed. There is no nutrtional value in soda pop – it's nothing out sugar water! I believe we need to tax all junk foods and ensure we are getting healthier foods at reasonable prices to our citizens.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  105. Jasmyn

    TO Carmen

    Ok Carmen, so what do you propose to be done?? What was the point of your post? You obviously still have your job and probably are one of those people who can afford to shop at the Whole Foods store.. So what is the point? The gov't will do whatever they think is best for the people who still get paychecks every week anyway. As for people who are propsoing a national sales tax, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MINDS????? NY and Miami taxes are at 9.5% already!!!!!!! Do you like having bums on the street?? Do you enjoy seeing people who are like me, already suffering with unemployment struggling to get the bills paid, and struggling to give my kids the life I didn't have???

    July 29, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  106. D. E. Sands

    TAXES, TAXES, TAXES.....Remember HISTORY??? Too many TAXES
    is one of the reasons this Country of AMERICA came into existence.
    FREEDOM from Taxation and FREEDOM to Worship........

    July 29, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  107. Amber

    I live in east Tn. Obesity in this area is stagering and the average income is quite low. Fresh fruits vegetables and whole grains are very costly here, so most people live on a cheap high sugar high fat diet. If we are talking about cutting health care cost, taxing foods that drive up those costs is a fantastic idea but only if we make healthy food more affordable maybe even tax exempt

    July 29, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  108. Velma J Miyagi

    The soda tax isn't a bad start but it doesn't go nearly far enough. All processed foods should be taxed. Anything that contains any manufactured ingredient should be taxed. If it doesn't sound like Grandma's recipe – Tax the dickens out of it. People were much healthier back then.

    States should be encouraged to place a sales tax on processed foods and removing any sales tax on organic food, raw basic ingredients without additives.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  109. ANITA

    Marajuanan use is rampant, we need to legalize it and tax it,that would solve so many problems and create revenue.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  110. Donald Miller

    We have no more time to waste. We must replace the patch work system of heath care, which is keeping America from being competitive in the Global Economy, with Universal Heath Care providing complete and total coverage for all. Universal Heath Care will not only provide heath care for the uninsured, UHC will save businesses the cost of insurance. UHC will would replace Medicare, Medicaid, and free the Department of Veterans Affairs from the cost of medical care. UHC would lower the cost of car insurance and worker compensation insurance by eliminating the need for heath insurance coverage.

    Universal Heath Care can be paid for by taxing the imports. The tax should be structure in a way that makes American manufacturing more competitive with overseas industries. One example of the system would be:
    1% tax on imports of raw products (ore, petroleum).
    2% tax on imports of refined products (steel, gasoline, lumber).
    3% tax on imports of parts (screws, nuts, bots, pipe).
    4% tax on imports of components (computer chips).
    5% tax on modules (hard drives, car stereos).
    6% tax on finished products (TVs, cars).
    7% tax on services (service help centers, call centers).
    Donald Vernon Miller II

    July 29, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  111. Dmarie Writ

    The Kroeger clerk said it best....increase tax as long as it WORTH IT. Workers want the most Bang for the bucks. The poor, working and middle class, plus the rich must pay for this reform. There's a sin tax on tabacco, alcohol, and gasoline; POLITICIAN SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID LOBBYIST TO TAX JUNK FOOD & DRINKS, because they are only pretending to be advocating for the poor. Actually, they are more like drug pushers supplying to the addict. WE NEED HEALTHCARE REFORM AND WE NEED A PUBLIC PLAN.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  112. David

    First of all, why do we need to tax anything?? Since when did the government become a parent entity. They try and put laws and taxes in place to make us act a certain way; but the truth is that if a person wants something, they will find a way. My personal opinion is that if the government wants a way to fund health care reform, they should first look inward where the money is being spend, ei Medicare. There are so many people in the US today on, and/or abusing Medicare/Medicaid. Maybe if there were more strict guidelines on who qualifies, there wouldn't be as many expenses. I have been lower middle class my entire life and although I don't always eat like I should, but I do exercise everyday to make up for it. To get back to the tax, I enjoy soda and fast food; and do not want to pay more then I'm already paying just to have something sweet.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  113. Carmen

    Uh... a snickers bar isn't what they are talking about... they are talking about pizza, french fries, etc etc. Tell me you never eat that. And wow... aren't we bitter about being taxed for smoking lol. So what better way to deal with your hatred towards the rest of the country... force them all to be taxed too. Huh.. I would think you would be against more taxes. I am sure that once they hit fat foods they will move on to healthy foods... and you can't deny that they are just waiting to up the tax on cigs again. I will say it again... taxing us isn't the solution to health care fees and the debt in general. It amazes me that we just go, "Oh. Ok.. tax away. And wait, I have more things you can tax. Let me list them for you." You might not need your money, but I need mine!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  114. Helen Chaparro

    The Republicans are always talking about smaller government and pushing all their responsibilities on to the states and let the states tax people to death. It is time they took responsibility for the people and their health care. Pay them all a salary and take away all the fringe benefits like travel, car allowances, free health care, pensions for life, maybe then they will understand what we the people are going through. Health care should be a right of all citizens of the United States to have. All people should contribute to that end and the fair thing to do is tax gasoline that most everyone consumes add 10 cents a gallon or whatever it takes to accomplish the goal!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  115. Ruby P

    What happened president elect famous words(No new taxes on anyone)?

    July 29, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  116. David

    Tax the richest 1%. They have more private wealth than the bottom 90% COMBINED!!! The top 10% own 71% of the nation's private wealth.

    About the $1 billion to cities for cost over $212,000 to hire one police officer?!? That's absurd!!!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  117. Don Bramblett

    I am overweight but try to avoid certain foods. My wife is very nutrition conscious and says "high fructose corn syrup" and foods high in "sodium" are bad for us. From what I have read, high fructose corn syrup is a suspected component in the cause of juvenile diabetes.

    So, I say tax all soft drinks to help pay for a national health system, but tax soft drinks and foods that contain "high fructose corn syrup" with an even higher tax surcharge. Tax prepared foods that are high in sodium.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  118. diggersstory

    Reform the government. Stop government from raiding tax payers trust funds and replacing $$ with IOUs. Fine the administration each year who creates more debt and robs tax payers TRUST FUNDS. Reward administration each year who does not increase National Debt and pays it off. Have government employees on the same Health Care Program as USA citizens. Every visit to the doctor should cost something to stop abuse (sliding scale or barter.) President Obama needs to deal with the National Debt before he spends more money. Reduce the salaries of all public servants and don't give them raises until the National crisis is over. Government employee are our "public servants" and their masters are not able to pay their HIGH SALERIES at this time. There should be a hiring freeze for government. Use volunteers on the local level to help with the burden of those laid off. Tax Fat unhealthy foods along with couch potatoe items and spectator sports. Reward government departments and educational institution that SAVE MONEY in creative ways. Encourage schools and group to start think tanks to save/raise money with incentives of rewards/grants/scholarships. Stop bailing out CEOs that spend 1/3rd of our tax money for themselves. Put conditions on all bailout money. CEO's must payback all money before bonus and/or benefits can be paid using their own profits. Otherwise it looks like they never needed the money to survive but only for their own personal greed. All government bills should be read before they are passed in the senate and congress with NO PORK. In short Stop enslaving the tax payer and clean the White House. That should give us all a boost in getting future generations out of debt and taking care of our grandparents who have put double payments into the system.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  119. Debbie

    Tax stupidity! I know that Congress would pay a large portion of this tax.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  120. Carmen

    My grandmother and great aunts made some of the worst food in the world... they believed in lard as a staple lol. Posts like that just prove you can't make a good list of foods to tax. Anything you say is bad for you can be made from other ingredients at a grocery store. Tax it all if you are going to have your way. I love healthy food, and rarely eat the really fatty foods, but you can turn any healthy food into something unhealthy.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  121. Sal

    Since we can't tax stupidity, I would tax the things that increase healthcare costs (ie, cigarettes, fast food, etc)

    July 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  122. WeedWarrior

    Let my people blow!

    Free the Weed for the cash we need....

    July 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  123. Jeannie

    End subsidies on corn since high fructose corn syrup makes people unhealthy.

    Tax sugary drinks and other unhealthy foods/drinks. These are major contributors to obesity which is driving up health care spending.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  124. John

    HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. It adds to obesity and diabetes - two of the biggest healthcare costs in America. Tax the heck out of it and maybe there will be less of an incentive to use it as a "cheap" sweetener.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  125. Gary

    How about a tax for 71% Hash Pills? I have spinal injury and it would help my pain, and California's pain in the pocket. Medical Marijuana would be a perfect tax as well.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  126. Mrs. Smith

    tax marijuana.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  127. mike

    I'd tax unhealthy foods, and reduce tax on healthy ones..

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  128. Abraxas

    Tax churches. Some of these preachers are making six figure+ salaries off of people coming to their churches and buying their books. Separation of church and state means no special rights for the church.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  129. Debbye Krueger

    I work in Public Health and that answer is easy. High fructose corn syrup. It is causing so many health related problems from obesity and all its related ill, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, to tooth decay. Not a nutrient,not necessary, tax it and tax it hard!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  130. Jerry

    Tax all the churches, they are the ones that are getting by free they buy up property, build outrageous churches, let them pay taxes on their property.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  131. Kevin

    Tax churches.
    There is no reason why churches should be exempt from taxation.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  132. Sgt Jon Alvarez (Baghdad, Iraq)

    Why do WE have to find a NEW tax?
    Why not ask what we would CUT from CURRENT
    SPENDING to support health care reform?

    You guys in the media and in DC aren't getting it...we're being taxed to DEATH right now! Cut spending, then we can talk!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  133. Tim Hendon, Hammond, LA

    Shouldn't it be obvious? The tax should be placed on the CHURCH and ministries because the church as never legally followed the Separation of Church and State. It is long overdue for the churches and religious organziations to anty up for getting involved in government!!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  134. Marilyn

    Tax HMO's. Back in the 1960's when cost projections for healthcare were made, HMOs didn't exist. Layering on levels of HMO bureaucracies turned USA access to healthcare some of the worst in the world. Tax these HMO "insurance" (protection racketeers) companies and put them out of business. Doctors will profit, and all healthcare and access to it will be improved.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  135. George Bush

    I would write a bill that plans on taxing the emission of Carbon from cars,houses,etc... if anyone goes over the national limit.


    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  136. Andrew from Tulsa

    I think they should tax filibusters in Congress. Charge them a flat tax per minute of the filibuster.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  137. Deb F

    How about taxing something everybody uses? Toilet paper!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  138. Tim


    When do we get to a point when are personal interests are being inhibited due to the mismanagement of our government. The phrase "taxation without representation" comes to mind. Are we ever going to get to a point where we cannot make personal choices due to the fact that we will be taxed on those choices? Or are we already there?

    Tim, Toledo OH

    July 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  139. Steve Ronzino

    Jeez, most of these comments do not address the health issue, commission a study to determine the leading foods that cause, obesity, heart problems, lung problems, etc. Then tax each one based on how bad they are for you, lets start with alcohol, cigarettes and fast food.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  140. charlotte

    We should be taxing fast food industries heavier to pay for health care reform, mainly because theyre one of the biggest contributors to health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, and the list goes on.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  141. Ds

    Here is a thought , Any wire cash transfers, to Mexico tax at 10 percent flat tax
    Any pay checks cashed at places other then banks a 2 percent add tax
    Any vehicles over 40 k
    Jewerly items over 20 k
    All of congress and senate own health care plans

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  142. gk

    Increasing marijuana, cocaine, cigarette, alcohol tax and anything to do with stripped or undressed clubs, both in bars and in stores.....
    I would add also increase tax gun's owner and seller. Raising tax to something qualified unlawful doesn't restrain its consumption. In other words, you under legalize and cost it. So, let's transform society into a jungle to finance health care reform.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  143. Tim


    When do we get to a point when our personal interests are being inhibited due to the mismanagement of our government. The phrase "taxation without representation" comes to mind. Are we ever going to get to a point where we cannot make personal choices due to the fact that we will be taxed on those choices? Or are we already there?

    Tim, Toledo OH

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  144. Sanjay

    Add a Fat Tax – chocolate, pop, candy, chips, etc. They all have high amounts of sugar and fat which lead to obesity when consumed in excess. Also tax Alcohol and higher taxes on Cigarettes like Canada. All of the above have a direct correlation to poor health and place strain on Healthcare costs.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  145. Tom

    How about a nice big tax on GUNS!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  146. Tom

    I think you should tax the lottery winners. That way nobody looses. People will always play the lottery they just won't win as much.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  147. Barbara

    How about legalizing marijuana and prostitution and taxing it for health care.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  148. Al

    I would remove the tax-write-off for Insurance Lobbying, pharmaceuticals, and health care companies. This money comes out of the pockets of Americans. It must be a huge number.

    The "Free Speech" of these companies is coming out of the pockets of America. The average citizen does not get a business expense deduction when he runs an advertisement.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  149. Joey Whitmoyer

    Heidi, I would tax the vices responsible for the majority of health care issues, starting with the fast food industry, followed by liquor and tobacco. By taxing these areas you are rewarding the people focused on leading healthy lives.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  150. Debbie

    Tax aliens (illegal and legal). It is a privilege to live in our country and they should pay for that privilege.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  151. Mike DeRoche

    Tax the churchs! They are getting a free ride. They benefit from being in a free and democratic society, but do not contribute to that society.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  152. Lois

    I woud tax ticket sales for sports events as well as video games.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  153. Vito Leonardi

    I would tax soda and every snack food they make. This is the junk that's making us fat and sick. I would raise the taxes on tobacco and alcohol again. I would tax every hand gun sale in the country. Finally I would tax every new car sale that doesn't get at least 25 miles to the gallon.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  154. Michelle

    I'm not in favor of taxing one thing to pay for something else..... especially when it comes to sin taxes. What would happen if everyone stopped?

    I personally would like to see the income level raised on Medicare and FICA taxes. Additionally, the Bush tax cuts have to expire. But, in all cases, we must learn to pay as we go. I'm tired of seeing my government spend more money than it collects. That's an inflation engine.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  155. William

    How about taxing Congress, so far they are above the rest of us with health care. They don't have to take the health care like the rest of us.
    Their salaries are way above the countries, I believe they can afford it the most.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  156. Dan Paris

    A small tax on all food and beverages should be implemented. Good or bad, we eat too much food and as a result we have enormous problems with heart disease, diabetes and the like. Also, why not start taxing church properties the same as all business properties are taxed.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  157. Cleo

    Tax welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, corporate bonuses, Nancy Pelosi's Air Force jet use, excessive presidential travel and the revenue lost by the networks for covering every word he says as "breaking news." In Sweden, which has government healthcare, no one is exempt from the 24% tax, including welfare recipients. Everyone contributes at the same rate and everyone receives the same care.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  158. gg

    I would have the giant corporations that own every mass media outlet and entertainment medium in the United States pay fifty percent of their net profits to the people of the United States of America.

    On a side note, I noted a moment ago while watching cnn that as always, they cherry pick the comments to further their own political and social agenda. I don't understand why almost no one notices or cares that everything they watch on television has been filtered and censored by each conglomerate corporation respectively.

    Cnn you disgust me.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  159. Naim

    Taxing pot is not too smart and wont make any money because who would pay a tax for it if they can grow it themselves since its legal?

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  160. Mark

    I would tax all food and beverages that are deemed medically un-healthy. It would be considered "junk food" tax.

    Obesity is a disproportionate contributor to health issues. Obese people are more expensive to insure, but everybody has to pay they're load.

    The government does not have a right to tell you what to eat, but you should be resposible for your actions. Having to pay a little extra for the foods you shouldn't be eating a lot of anyway should help reduce junk food consumption.

    Needlessly to say alcohol and tobacco shoul be heavily taxed.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  161. Tim Hendon, Hammond, LA

    I noticed alot of you are commenting on a "fat tax". For those of you that are not aware of it, the State of Alabama already has a "Fat Tax" on state employees. According to that law, if your BMI is higher than 35 (I think) then you are accessed $25 fine; however, if you show that you are trying to lose weight through medical services and gym memberships, the tax is waived but there has to be proof that you are actually losing weight.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  162. Jo

    Hey, lets tax abusers..male and female..the first six months after they get out of jail is a gift to get on their feet after that they would be taxed for a full year for abusing whoever..wife, husband, kids, dogs etc. It's a penalty year! No questions asked, you raise your hand to someone YOU PAY!
    Now research all the abusers in jail, bingo! care paid for..we took care of them while they were in jail right? It's a way to pay back, they'll thank us for it..some day...

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  163. Al

    legalize marijuana and save a lot of the costs of Police and Prisons. Quit criminalizing and disenfranchising our citizens because of this harmless weed. End Prohibition

    July 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  164. Acyn In Los Angeles

    Congress makes 170k each at 90 mllion annual which +18% higher over the past 8 years during a weak economy. In contrast, they only received a 12% raise during the 90s and the internet boom. Also, with this new republican strategy wait and fail approach, they arent doing anything. They are as bad as AIG Execs and they dont stop campaigning for finance anymore.. all year round. So, really their salary is a bonus while the moonlight as fundraisers and barely do their job in washington. Should they get a bonus or should 100% tax be levied on them? also, why tax sex and video games... tax the things that kill people not the things that make people happy.. whats next taxing love and puppys? Look, guns are selling and they shouldnt. Tax that and bullets. Make bullets so expensive that it will cost 100k to wound someone. Tax religious organization excerscising political camaigning. Why is a mosque raided and seized for funds when they do political camaigning against israel but a church is tax exempt and even subsidized when they hate every other religion. Tax all executives 10% over 1million. Tax all reality tv shows. Tax all wal-marts to make their prices = the prices they woud be if they didnt use slave labor

    July 29, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  165. Tony

    Make everyone get a physical next year, the government pays for everyone's physical,if they are obese or overweight tax their income, tax fast food heavily, tax cigarettes to 10 bucks a pack and beer by 2 dollars a six pack, if you can' afford to smoke and drink then you can't afford health care.
    Tax television viewing, tax electronic games and tax people for the time they spend sitting in front of their computers, subsidize gym and health clubs and give people tax credits when they are in shape. Free health care for all children and pregnant women.

    Sounds simple, be responsible, governments role is to protect those who are not those who are not.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:48 am |

    I would like to see insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies taxed more aggressively, since they are among the leading entities goughing the public in the name of health care.Legalize and tax marijuana. Cut tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  167. Robert Germano

    Just change the whole tax structure.

    (except out of pocket expenses for supplemental health insurance)

    Federal Income Tax – 9%
    Social Security Tax – 7%
    Medicare Tax – 4%
    Health Care Tax – 7%
    Short Term Disability – 1%


    Elective supplemental Health Care Insurance – what you want to pay, up to each individual.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  168. Barbara

    I also agree, tax churches.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  169. Art

    If the cost of healthcare is due in large part to an unhealthy life style; and if better preventive care is part of the solution, why not focus there.
    I'm ok with taxing 'sugar' drinks a couple of cents; big deal. But I really think the solution is more personal.
    How about co-pays and deductables based upon YOUR efforts to stay healthy!
    For instance, if you have your regular physical exams, colonoscopies, etc., you pay a lower co-pay or deductable than someone who doesn't bother to do those things. Same with obesity, if your obese, you pay more. Smokers pay more, etc.
    In other words, for those things you choose to do that are unhealthy, you pay. If you choose to be healthier, you are rewarded with lower cost.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  170. Laura

    I won't tax anything. I would suggest that the government hold a government ran lottery just like our individual states do to benefit health care and the winnings be tax free. Everyone would play if it were tax free!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  171. Michael Konnon

    Wow Heidi I am so glad you asked that question as I did not know who to address it to ie Senator, Representative etc. CNN is the answer to this question. I am a born New Yorker and now reside on the Jersey side of the Hudson, retiring 1/2 the year in Puerto Rico. What they have down there is a 6.7. Value added Tax which works very well for them. Presently it's a 6.7% tax on ORIGINATION or import on the manufacturing level. The retailer has nothing to do to collect it. It's understood the price you see and the manufacturer of that product has already paid the government of Puerto Rico. Maybe we only need a 2% VAT to cover this new health program with maybe a copay as well....
    Please get this message out there...Thanks to all that respond to this...

    July 29, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  172. kim cholewa

    I suggest taxing the things that cost health care the most – alcohol, tobacco, and obesity (fast foods and junk food) . Taxing marajuana would also help as so many people already smoke it but the government does not get it's part of the money spent. The tax on alcohol could also go to offset some of the cost of persons in jail often from the result of drinking excess alcohol.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  173. Thomas James

    Just as tobacco results in most cases of lung, laryngeal and tongue cancers as well as increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, high saturated fats and sugars result in increased diabetes,heart disease and obseity. Obseity leads to joint and back degeneration, pulmonary hypertension, systemic hypertension and other associated diseases. Taxing fast foods and sugary beverages would lead to appropriate changes in the food industry, help shift dietary habits and improve overall health, as well as increase revenue to deal with the issues created by these foods.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  174. Sara

    Taxes should be imposed on marijuana, tobacco (all kinds), alcohol, sugar products, fast foods, soda products, fruit juice drinks (less than 100 % juice), and ALL cosmetic surgeries (head to toe and to include hair transplantsand cosmetic dental procedures).

    July 29, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  175. Jon

    There should be a Tax based on body fat %. If someone is above the normal range they should be taxed (based on medical history, age, sex, etc).

    July 29, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  176. Joseph

    Proprly tax stock, option and commodity trades and stop the ridiculous tax write offs for business pleasure trips.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  177. Nita

    I love the idea of taxing fast and fattening foods. However, we then need to find a solution for making produce and more healthier choices more affordable here in the US.

    I can buy a loaf of bleached, "enriched" flour bread for $0.99, but pay almost $4.00 for a loaf of whole grain oat bread. One idea, Instead of over paying for imported produce, lets decide as a country to strenghten our support of local farmers.

    Then those who choose to consume fast food and jepordize their health can contribute fairly for their medical care.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  178. Sue Anne Lewis

    Legalize and tax marijuana. Tax a certain percentage of the health insurance companies' net profits!!! They will be forced to attract enrollees by lowering their premiums and by so doing the volume of enrollees will increase and they will still be making outrageous profits.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  179. A. Logan

    As a medical marijuana patient in California I would be happy to pay tax on my medicine. I have already asked the dispensary where I receive my goods to collect a voluntary tax that we can donate to local schools. The response was overwhelming.

    I grew up in GA and wasn't always so liberal so I understand the concerns of conservatives. Farmers could also benefit greatly from this if the government would subsidize the land they used to grow the cannabis they could use the extra revenue to evolve their farms into greener operations. Being able to afford wind turbines, water reuse systems and many other beneficial technologies.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  180. Sue

    Legalize and tax marijuana

    July 29, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  181. barbara herm

    i am ok with taxing gas, i know that sounds repetative but most people have cars and with the way prices are up and down constantly who would notice ten cents a gallon? i don't think i would

    July 29, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  182. james pawlak

    What would I tax? What the hay we're already taxed. Anyone fortunate enough to have a Domestic Partner Health benefit already has that portion of the Partner's benefit taxed as ordinary income. I would like all those opposed to additional taxes on health care benefits to back up that position by coming out against this special hidden tax that dare not speak it's name...... ! My "husband" already pays approximately $1600.00 a year in additional "Health Care" Taxes. Welcome to the club.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  183. Gene Gangelhoff

    How about a tax credit if you loose weight through the year. This would have to be verified with your doctor. A weigh-in at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year. Also, how about a tax credit for insurance companies and hospitals for proof of saving you money on your health costs.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  184. Jessie

    From a distance (Canada): It's apparent you need 'universal health care' due to soaring costs of private insurance but it seems some are not willing to give up anything to get it from some of the responses here.
    Yes we have a "sin tax" on all the things you are all listing (junk food, fast food)- it becomes a way of life. So your soda, chocolate bars, chips etc. are 3-5 cents more, no big deal if you are not out of pocket to see a Dr. or have an operation.
    It's amazing that Obama has not (apparently) even considered this as a way to pay for SINGLE PAYER and dropped to the less desired public option. Guess he is not willing to go toe to toe with big pharma and private insurance.

    Debunking myths, Words you will never hear in Canada [ written by a fellow Canadian]
    1. "Out of network"
    There are no "networks" in Canada. Doctors and hospitals are not affiliated with private insurance companies. Doctors are private business entities and hospitals are usually run by non-profit boards or regional health associations.
    2. "COBRA"
    Health coverage is NOT tied to your place of employment in any way. So any COBRA-like scheme is unnecessary.
    3. "Co-Pay"
    The government pays 100% of basic care, 100% of the time. Drugs are not covered, but are subsidized by government to a point. And because of mass buys, discounts are obtained from the drug companies. That's why our prices are so much lower. Most employers offer a drug plan that pays for 100% of drug cost coverage.
    4. "monthly premium\deductible"
    Wazzat? No such thing here.
    5. "waiting for approval"
    Doctors are the sole decision makers for health care. NOBODY influences or delays their decisions, warns them of costs or prevents them from giving treatment for any reason.
    6. "Government interference"
    The provincial government in each province PAYS for whatever services doctors provide. No questions asked. Unless the procedure is experimental, not medically necessary or unwarranted, doctors cannot deny basic care – by law.
    7. "Health insurance lobby"
    There are NO insurance companies for basic care, only companies for providing insurance for travelers. No money to be made here.
    8. "bureaucracy"
    When we visit a hospital or doctor's office, we walk in, get treated, walk out. No "applications", "registrations" or any other kind of paperwork is required. We NEVER have to talk to a single "government official" or wait for a "judgment".
    This is such a foreign concept to us. A Canadian's usual reaction to the explanation of this term is astonishment.

    Those ads you see of Shona Holmes with the so called 'brain tumor' who says she would have died in 6 months in Canada are untrue. She CHOSE to pay $100k to the Mayo Clinic. There is a big difference between a brain tumor and a CYST (which is what she had – her life was never in danger). I was operated on the day after they discovered mine because it WAS life threatening... and I live in Ontario just like Shona. Cost? Zero!

    Good luck to all of you in your fight for universal care. Fight hard because it's worth it.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  185. Joan Thomas

    It seems to me that Americans do not want to pay for what they get. Here in Ontario, Canada I have total piece of mind that if anything happens to myself or my family this day that all our health care needs would be looked after without cost to us. In Ontario a large amount of the Health Care costs are paid for from the extra taxes that we pay on wines and spirits. All of these products are bought at LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) stores. They are not privately owned. We the people of Ontario own them. We have gotten used to the prices we pay for these and sleep very well at night knowing that we will not loose our homes over health care costs. My father had open heart surgery, my mom rehabilitated for 6 months in the hospital for 2 strokes, I have given birth to 4 children, my children have had various broken bones, an appendectomy, a snapped leg tendon, my husband had his gall bladder taken out, I have had Mammograms and all our family have had yearly check-ups and blood tests. I have had a colonoscopy and other operations that I will not mention - ALL WITHOUT COST!!!!!! What are you all waiting for – your health is the most important thing in the world and piece of mind is right up there with it.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  186. Vince Dennen

    Tax the things that CAUSE the drain on our economy...High Calorie FOOD!!! Low calorie foods(per serving) have no tax and scale the tax UP to make HIGH calorie items less desirable.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:59 am |


    July 29, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  188. Lynn

    I would not tax anything! The government should cut out wasteful spending, we are expected to live within our means and so should the government. Maybe the government needs a diverse group of poor people to audit the spending.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  189. Steve Z

    Sell trips to the moon to pay for healthcare.

    If you have to tax something then tax tax returns.

    Bagh ha ha what a twist!

    July 29, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  190. Marie A.

    Remove adult "children" from free healthcare under the SCHIP based on their parents' income, which can be up to $80,000 per year. How is that people are considered "children" up to their mid-20s? Require that members of congress start paying into Social Security. We need to replenish the Social Security "trust fund" and stop using it as a slush fund to pay for other things. This may impact government healthcare because congress will be looking at any source of funding. Good time to making initial changes in Social Security that can be phased in over time. Increase the Social Security contribution and require that everyone pay into the system. Require that everyone purchase healthcare, at least catastrophic healthcare insurance. Just because some is young and healthy, or chooses to opt out for whatever other reason, at least basic insurance should be required and that should help the risk pool as well. When good fortune turns on some of these people and they rack up catastrophic healthcare expenses, the rest of us end up paying for it.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  191. Denise, NV

    We should tax all the things that cause health problems:
    tobacco, alcohol, soda, candy, gasoline, plastics, etc.
    Not only would it provide health care it would discourage behaviors that cause diabetes, obesity, asthma and other chronic conditions that cause the greatest health cost.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  192. Randy N

    My oppinion is Impeach them all, Elect me President, I will get jobs going first, cause without jobs we can not afford healthcare. Randy

    July 29, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  193. Ed Fern

    I would tax the salaries, benefits, and reimbursable expenses of all Federally elected officials at 100%. It is time they learned to get by on the bribes.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  194. Amy

    I think that we should all consider the Fair Tax that was Gov. Huckabee's platform when he ran for President. We would have more than enough revenue to balance our budget and not have to rely on our government to run our health care, we would be able to purchase and afford our own individual health care and still be able to take care of our everyday needs. Everyone would pay this tax illegal or not.

    The Fair Tax is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including:

    A progressive national retail sales tax.
    A prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level.
    Dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  195. adrian

    Hi heidi!!! nice caffeine,from coffee all the way to energy drinks on a tax scale,the more you buy the more you'll get tax'd. I believe this nation is consumed by material things,TIME is precious....Jimmy Valvano said it best on the 1993 ESPY AWARDS .He mentions 3 things to do in life every day.LAUGH-THINK-& CRY. We havent forgotten u Jimmy,(YOUTUBE) . "Keep your dreams alive,in spite of problems"(jimmy) My mom is inflicted with this dreaded disease.Hope is out there.god bless
    support the cancer the foundation

    July 29, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  196. Michelle

    Remove tax exempt status from churches.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  197. Kristen

    Animal product (meat, dairy, and even waste) should be taxed. They are not only clearly linked to increases in heart disease and cancer, but they have a potent impact on the environment. The cost of using (not just eating) animal products should reflect it's overall cost not just to our health but our planet as well

    July 29, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  198. Karen

    Any item that is not necessary should be taxed. Make the right choices and it won't affect you. Choosing between a salad and a cheeseburger isn't that difficult. Water instead of soda. See, you're catching on already.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  199. Arlene Huss

    Answering your question as to what I'm willing to pay for health care.
    It is very simple....I'll pay the same thing members of Congress pay for the same coverage and let the taxpayer pay the rest as they do.
    Get serious with your coverage of this issue...your airing the silly answers to this question does nothing to solve the problem.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  200. paul wise

    to cut health care costs and help people lose weight we need a fifty percent tax on high fructose corn syrup. check it out.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  201. Karen

    I would first tax these big private hospitals and doctors that turn people away for care and not allow them to add the tax to the already stressed cost to patients.
    Second I would tax the private insurance companies that have denied or cancelled people at the hour of their most medical need, such as pre-existing and terminal illness.
    This problem of healthcare is a human condition, not a political or private industry game to be played. I believe everyone can contribute to this cause, rich or poor. Why not, tax non essential so called luxury items such as boats, cruise ships, theme parks tickets and swimming pools. These are some of the things we do not truly need to survive and medical care is all about survival, of the human condition.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  202. D. Creech

    I've been reading many of the comments here, and most have very valid points. I am concerned about some of the perceptions people have about cause and affect. Yes, unhealthy foods are cheaper, and therefore more accessible to the poor. This is because the demand and sales are higher, causing prices to fall. If inherently unhealthy foods were more expensive, people would buy more of the healthy ones, demand and sales would rise, and healthy would cost less. I am a single mother with 4 children still at home and I make around 20,000 yr. I know what a budget is, and my family still eats healthy. My job includes helping obese disabled people shop, and time and again, I've watched them choose the more expensive prepared, processed, breaded, and toxic convenience foods over plain chicken, 100% beef, or grilled meats. They choose canned pastas and sauce-laden pour-and-nuke foods over canned vegetables that are a third of the cost. Final result: my cart w/ healthy food for five usually costs about the same as theirs does for one or two at the same store. The irony is that not only am I paying for my family's food, but through my taxes, everything in their cart also, as well as all of their healthcare.
    Yes, tax foods that contain syrups, sugars and fats that are unnecessary to the food they're in. Make healthy foods competitive in our markets. Tax these ingredients so manufacturers are discouraged from using them in excess (and everything). Do we really need sugar in hotdogs or hamburger? Do we really believe paying for our own behavior and choices is unfair?

    July 29, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  203. Katy Downs

    I wanted to add something to my previous posts today. It occurred to me how much the food industry can contribute to health care, and how it could benefit from it.

    Taxing the corporations for the products they make with high cholesterol content, too much sugar, fat and sodium would push them in the direction of producing healthy foods. This is important because the poor suffer most from the bad food that's produced, and if the poor had available to them healthy foods that would lower health costs not only for them but for everyone. The companies wouldn't want to pay a high tax on the bad stuff they put out there.

    Secondly, the government needs to put in regulations regarding these bad products being put out there, and penalties need to put on those corporations who break the rules.

    All taxing should be on those who hurt the health of the citizens....
    so as I said in my previous blog...the insurance
    corporations that make bad food...any wasteful health provider or organization that profits from people being sick.

    The Medical-Industrial complex is at war with the American citizens and there are senators and congressman who have stalled a single payer system who want to keep the status quo of sickness rolling along as is.

    I would like to see all opponents to ta single payer system taxed maximally for their health care benefits. They have feathered their own nests and could care less about the rest of the country.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  204. Carl in Tucson`

    A sugar tax.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  205. Tom Davis

    High Fractose Corn Syrup should be highly taxed in all food products. It's poison. As a nation we consume less fat than we did in 1967 yet we are getting fatter. High Fractose Corn Syrup deadens the receptors in our stomach that tell we're full–thus we eat more. The Corn subsidy to produce it and, at the same time, bans imported sugars which causes starvation in sugar producing countries like Haiti. We should eliminate High Fractose Corn Syrup from our food supplies just as we eliminated lead from our society as they are both poisons. We should go back to eating sugar which is only 8 calories a teaspoon and watch our obesity and diabetes rates plummet.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  206. Steve Davis

    There should be a 'heavy' tax on all fast and junk'food. The 'largest' health issue in the US is obesity. Its long list of serious medical complications is 'widely' known. So why are we so eager to raise taxes on tobacco and alcohol?
    The people who abuse their bodies with horrible eating habits should help subsidize their own future healthcare. The new 'sin' tax should be on what's really killing Americans, and on what's really driving up health care cost.
    If people have to pay more to eat bad, maybe they will eat less (or better) and help us save on health care in the future!!
    Sorry for the puns..........

    July 29, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  207. GJ

    One area that has not been addressed in "obese" people is that fact that many medications have a side effect of weight gain. Sometimes up to 50-70 pounds or more. Many people who are bashing overweight people are ignorant of this fact, and the pharmaceutical companies do not want you to know this fact. They grossly under play the weight-gain issue and usually state that the patient will be monitored if weight gain occurs. If your underlying chemical balance and metabolism has been messed up, what good is monitoring going to do? Usually the weight gain is several months or more after taking the medication.

    So. It would be beneficial to tax not only the edible substances producers (can you really call the nutrient-devoid and chemical laden substances that USED to be food, food?) because they knowingly produce substances that have been scientifically engineered to cause craving in humans and animals and cause not only obesity, but poor health (you have to also understand that just because someone is overweight, doesn't mean that they are not healthy; a slender person can be a walking, unhealthy nightmare), and the pharmaceutical companies that barrage the public with drugs that they know are not only dangerous, but can also cause significant weight gain and changes in a persons natural metabolic function.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  208. Tom Davis

    High Fractose Corn Syrup should be highly taxed in all food products. It's poison. As a nation we consume less fat than we did in 1967 yet we are getting fatter. High Fractose Corn Syrup deadens the receptors in our stomach that tell we're full–thus we eat more. The Corn subsidy encourages farmers to produce it, and, at the same time, bans imported sugars which causes starvation in sugar producing countries like Haiti. We should eliminate High Fractose Corn Syrup from our food supplies just as we eliminated lead from our society as they are both poisons. We should go back to eating sugar which is only 8 calories a teaspoon and watch our obesity and diabetes rates plummet.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  209. Katy Downs

    If indeed it is true that 72 per cent of American people want a single payer system, they should be bombarding the offices of their congressman and senators to get this!

    All cliches and rhetoric aside, please...there are lives at stake every minute that health care reform doesn't happen!!

    Blue dog democrats and it looks like also most republicans care more about being re-elected than if americans at home keep on dying, going bankrupt, and getting sicker. They don't represent what the American people need.

    If lobbyists, cliche makers succeed in their effort against health care reform, it is only because we did not make use of our voices and make them loud enough.

    The President may need to do this single handedly by Executive order because he is a compassionate man and read the stories of those who are currently suffering. He shouldn't have to do it all alone. He needs the people behind him.

    Bipartisanship can go to hell in my book. I am all for working with others, but there are others who are interested in growing and compromising and those who are rigidly dogmatic and won't bend an inch or learn a thing. It is not good to try to work a compromise with them because they weaken the conversation, win bownie points through slogans and cliches. There's no compromising with what when lives are at sake. They have had it their way for 8 years and now they are being listened to. How about anchors giving less time "to the republican point of view" unless it is Colin Powell, or someone among them who makes sense. Don't give airtime to the yahoos!

    July 29, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  210. Mattie

    As someone who is overweight, I'm ok with taxing fast food, just don't call it a fat tax...there are many factors to why people in the country are seriously over weight... and while I'm not saying "it's not my fault" I'm saying stop treating fat people like we're lepers we're people, smart, tax paying citizens who have some problems just like everybody else.

    Also, why do so many on this topic think taxing should be like a punishment...Please stop reducing everything to an elementary school level: "You've been a bad group kids, as punishment we need to tax all the things people use for leisure."

    What people can afford to have taxed should be taxed. That means Marijuana, expensive alcohol, things that people in the upper 1% bracket are willing to pay for... that may or may not be closed minded of me, but if you can find things that you can tax reasonably that are bought by the people above the poverty line I think you're going in the right direction.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  211. R Greer

    The legal profession typically gets 1/3 of a settlement by the time one gets through with reasonable injury recovery and punitive damages (i.e. the juice!)

    1. Set a standard table of fees a lawyer is both allowed and required to charge for a given case. One fee for divorce, an other fee for malpractice etc...

    1b. Requiring the client to pay, irregardless of outcome, will ensure the lawyer a fair compensation and reduce frivolous claims by clients. This will also help unload an over burdened court system and reduce cost for same allowing tax revenue to be diverted to useful endeavors, like health care.

    2. Tax at 99.99%, any and all monies recovered by the lawyer and/or his/her firm, over and above the flat fee.

    3. To eliminate the ability of corporate America to frustrate/crush a citizen's legitmate claim by using the comparatively infinite resources of a corporate legal department , establish a central listing of law firms and lawyers upon which a all corporations and/or other large interests must draw their legal defense and which will in turn be compensted in accordance with the flat rate table of paragraph 1 above.

    3a. This shall be an independent firm outside the corporate legal depatments

    3b. In the event a corporation be convicted of working around this clause, such as having their own legal departments supplement the central firm lawyer, 85% all profit for the next two years for which a profit shall be posted, shall be forfeited to the general fund of the US Treasury. The remaining 15% of the profit shall be distributed as per paragraph 3c below.

    3c. The central firm lawyer and/or his/her firm shall receive 5% of the recovery in 3b above as a mechanism to encourage him/her to gather evidence and turn in to federal authorities the corporation/entity attempting the work around. The client shall receive 5% of the recovery. The remaining 5% shall be awarded to the budget of the federal agency conducting the prosecution.

    Above will likely have to be institued via constitutional convention, as provided by US Constitution, much in the same manner as prohibition was instituted since chances of congress acting on this are slim and none given most members are lawyers.

    Indeed, I recall hearing or seeing little or nothing about reigning in the lucrative hunting ground of malpractice lawsuits when talking about health care reform.

    Above obviously needs to fluffed out with more detail but that's not suitable for the space available here and I think sufficient to give the reader the idea. and thought process.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  212. Andre Bueno

    Tax ME! I want healthcare but I know it is not free. I am willing to pay more taxes in order to have it available.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  213. Robert Baxby

    llows law enforcement to concentrate their resources on hard drugs.
    Other things worth looking at are tax on:
    Autos over $50,000
    Bonus' over $50,000
    2nd, 3rd, 4th homes (graduated upward)
    Expense accounts
    Homes over 1 million
    Income from commercial real estate owned by religious organizations

    July 29, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  214. moliere constant

    I would tax everything that makes people at risk of contracting diseases such as cardiovascular disease which is the number killer in the US. Therefore, I would tax non diet sodas, cigarettes, all fast food, alchool products, candies, etc. That would discourage people eat all kind of junk.

    July 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  215. Rob

    Fat people and Rich people, this is where Americas wealth has gone, or the wealth thats still in this country! Fat people are the biggest burden on the health system and rich people have been getting huge tax breaks now since Reagan the deregulator was in office! Lets stop sugar coating our problems and get down to business on how these people should pay more!

    July 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  216. Karen

    President Obama said let's work with what we have and not re-invent the wheel. Let families and individuals have non taxable and non age restrictive, without penalty savings plans. A percentage of this could be put into a medical savings plan to help subsidize a families healthcare. This easy investment would also help strengthen our banking industry.
    I mean I don't think there are many people who haven't had a chocolate bar or chips, that couldn't save if allowed to without the worry of taxation or penalty.
    We are groomed from the age of six to spell our names, dress ourselves and even save pennies for the next trip to the local candy store. Some are even saving for the next new video game or name brand jeans.
    So it's all about early education and the knowledge of why savings and not always frivolous spending should be a priority.
    I think the hardest thing is to see a 23 year old college student lose their parents health insurance and end up uninsured and having to go on medicaid. Cobra's should be non-existent, the parents should be the ones to decide when a child is able to insure themselves.

    July 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  217. David

    Okay health care reform bills-who will pay for it? I believe that Americans have a lot of bad habits that the country will like to discourage. Tax all of them and you won't be looking for money to settle health care bills. Habits such as smoking, prostitution, marijuana, alcohol, fast foods, etc.

    July 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  218. Jan

    I would tax the movie industry every time they show a person smoking a cigarette.

    July 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  219. Rafael Matos

    I do not think a tax on fattening foods is fair and I actually believe it is wrong. Who is to say what is fattening? If a skinny person buys a gallon of really good ice cream and eats it sensibly, why should they pay a tax for something somebody else might be eating too much of?
    It is a personal choice.

    July 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  220. Jolene Pitloun

    I am obese patrially due to drugs like prednizone which I have been on for over 10 years. I recently quit smoking, the tax hikes helped. Because I have diabeties I do not drink soft drinks. I believe taxing soft drinks is a good ideal. I feel that the same tax payers get picked on all of the time and that they should spread the tax hikes around to more of the population.

    July 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  221. John

    Legalize Marijuana !! That is truley the only way to go. It would allow the people that really need it for pain to have access to it, keep people from going to jail just because they can not drink alcohol,and the taxes collected would pay for any crappy health care program imposed on us along with drug rehab programs. We already have gambling leagalized in 48 states.
    The drug cartels are the only ones making american dollars from pot. Why is the government allowing terrorists and cartels to get rich and locking up our own citizens?
    Is not this government founded by the people and for the people?
    Marijuana was made illegal by a bunch of ignorant people in Washington back in the early 20th century.Why are we still living under such outdated laws? Is the DEA afraid they might lose some jobs? God forbid we save money on law enforcement.
    The government has to spend X amount of dollars in order to receive the same amount the next year.How stupid!!!
    Even the most stoned out pot smoker knows that legalizing pot would create more tax money as well as more jobs in america.
    Besides, it would make for a more understanding america and a more tolerant nation. It would help race relations and pull some people's head out of their backside and open some minds in this country.
    Sure companies would still drug test employees as well as the military but who wants a stoned pilot or a stoned doctor anyway?
    It should be a freedom that we the people have a choice. Sure we can kill a fetus and arrest someone because of their race but we are considered too stupid to have a freedom of choice. We can only drink alcohol which is worse than pot. We as a people have for way too long agreed with our government that WE ARE STUPID!

    July 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  222. israel mack

    as i said in my previous comment before i don't know why nobody is listening and still asking what we should do to pay for healthcare espespecially our politicians who make eassolutions complicated ones!!!! tax junk food, cigarettes, fastfood, tobacco,soft drinks and alcoholic beverages these are the culprits that cause the majority of the healthcare problems we have today i don't understand why this is such nobody seems to get a clue!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  223. Steve T

    if you ask me taxing anything will just cause more problems, although if you must then i agree with taxing junk foods and fast foods. i read one of these blogs that stated the poor rely on cheap foods that wasn't thought out very well, because if your poor you shouldn't be wasting 5 bucks for 1 meal when you can go to the grocery store and buy 3 or 4 meals for the same price. "Humanity "needs to get back to a healthier eating habit which would solve allot of health issues.
    I do have a solution that should be addressed to all of "humanity " not just Americans, that could solve all our problems but should be heard in a step by step manor. the first step is for us "humans" to come to terms with the "fact" that we're all in this together. I mean for decades, centuries, ages we've been seperated by race when in "fact" there's only "2" races on this lil blue marble that both races call home and those 2 races are the human race and the animal race. Which one are you ? Now should we all come to terms with this "fact "I will suggest the second step .Although i believe that if we all except this "fact" we wont need a second step. ty you all for hearing me out and may god bless us all in our journey to "peace on earth".

    July 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  224. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    The stupidity of Americans seems to be increasing at an exponential rate. I think we are doomed to extinction. I cannot believe the comments I am seeing here. Can't Americans think of anything in terms other than "me"? How 'bout we charge the people who are using healthcare services? There would be a novel idea. Hypochondriacs cost our healthcare system more than anything. And no human is more afraid of dying than a cowardly American.

    We have to drop the idea of taxing behavior, just because some opinionated waste of carbon thinks it is socially unacceptable. Just because corrupt politicians cannot balance the budget, doesn't mean we have to start persecuting people who like Coke. Our government could provide all of the services we need at half the price; if Americans would simply wake up and start throwing corrupt incumbents out of office.

    July 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm |



    July 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  226. Cleo

    Tax in vitro fertilization. Lord knows we have seen enough abuse of that recently, including Octomom and the single woman who felt she just had to have babies at age 67, then died 2 years later, leaving 2-year-old twin orphans. Just plain selfish behavior in both cases. In vitro fertilzation can be a godsend to a woman who is unable to get pregnant, but there has to be a limit as to how many times it will be covered. In my opinion, twice is plenty (total of 2 times in the woman's lifetime, not twice for each time she wants to get pregnant). Adoption is a viable option.

    Do not extend coverage to illegal aliens as that group represents a huge portion of the millions of "Americans" who do not have healthcare. They are NOT Americans. They are here illegally. Deport them, not reward them with insurance coverage. Eliminate the "anchor baby" motivation to jump the border and deliver a US citizen. Send Mexico the bill for all healhcare provided to illegal aliens as most of the illegal aliens are Mexican. Stabilize the patients and ship them back to Mexico. Instead, make it easier and faster for foreigners who are trying to enter our country the right way, by applying for that privilege. It should not take years to investigate the applicant, sort out the applicants who pose a security threat and process the application. Establish a decent guest worker program with strict and enforced restrictions, including going back to Mexico at the end of the work permit term and billing all healthcare to Mexico. No buying houses, adding family members, opening businesses and otherwise getting so settled here that it is "unfair" to send them back. Apply for citizenship the legal way and wait your turn. Same rules for illegal aliens from other countries, but most of the illegal aliens here are from Mexico and seem to feel they have some "right" to be here illegally.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  227. Bruce Beauverd

    We want to tax things that are bad for our health: tobacco, sugar, fats, and alcohol. We should tax employee health benefits because it is income that people too poor to have health insurance don't get.

    Also, on your show today, there were negative "news" about cola tax hurting the poor. And, cola consumption having gone down while the obesity epidemic went up. Is this news or public health? Is it accurate public health? What would Elizabeth Cohn say about this?

    Thank you very much for an interesting, enjoyable morning news show!


    July 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  228. Charlie Erickson

    Although instituting a tax(es) might help in paying for healthcare reform, it shouldn't be the focus.

    Overhauling the insurance system, Tort reform, and keeping the absolutely insane two party rivalry out of the picture, should be the focus.

    By the way, there's been many interesting and even funny ideas for taxes, posted on this thread.


    July 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  229. ron lang

    take away the health benefits of the politicians & bureaucrates & see how long it takes for a solution to health care.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  230. Cara Pettersen

    I think that people should pay taxes on the amount of children they have, not receive tax breaks. This could help pay not only for healthcare for their children but the public schools that are failing our kids miserably. I think that there are a lot of people who have more children to take advantage of the government because they'll receive more.

    July 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  231. Velma J Miyagi

    In addition to taxing any and all processed foods, any restaurant or fast food establishment that uses such items – reducing taxes on organic, natural products – hold a national contest to come up with a design for an icon that can be awarded to foods that are natural. Kind of like Smokey Bear for forest fires only for junk food. – Only You can prevent....

    July 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  232. Charlie Erickson

    Except foods from the produce/green grocer section, all foods ("natural", so-called natural and otherwise) are processed. If it's been dehydrated or liquified, solidified, pasteurized, homogenized, and/or been bagged, canned, bottled or boxed, then it's been processed to some degree.

    Actually, even some of the produce section foods are processed too.

    I do like Velma's Icon/logo idea.


    July 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  233. M. Garcia

    First of all, I am against a government run health care system. My God, look what the government has done with medicare, medicaid, and with social security to mention just a few. If you believe the excuses coming out of Washington you are naive! There's a lot of waste and fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and Social Security would be just fine if the politians would leave it alone, instead of raiding it to pay for other programs. The media is not doing its job of keeping the people informed with the truth and standing up to the politicians for fear of losing their status with Washington. So the media passes along the lies of the government. Whatever happened to the journalism of old that in most cases searched for the truth? Without a strong and honest media the people suffer and government becomes less accountable. Listen to the lies coming out of Washington about the Health Care Reform Plan and the inability of the media to stand for and report the truth! Even worse, the reporting is swallow and bias and the people end up more confused because the truth is not in it! I am for the "fair tax". Instead of health care reform we should be looking at ways of reforming the tax code and reducing the tax burden on all Americans. You've got to be an idiot to think that Government Run Health Care is going to be a success. It will start to lose money as soon as it is implemented and once again taxes will have to be raised and services curtailed and we the people will be stuck with another huge government bureaucracy that we don't need. How's that better than what we have? Higher taxes anyone? Let's first reform the best health care system in the world we have without a public component as well as the tax code before jumping head first with a government run health care system that without a doubt will add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit. Let's make the health care system and the tax code we have more efficient and less burdensome to all Americans. If we were able to put a man in the moon, we certaintly can improve on the current health care system and the tax code. Remember, the more intrusive the government is in our lives, the less free we are!

    July 29, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  234. danny

    i love you heidi! you are so hot!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  235. Gary

    Just put a tax on taxes. Tax Michael Vick. Tax Sarah Palin. You are taxed when you are born, you are taxed when you are buried. Why add more? Just tax GOD! Everybody has something to say about GOD, two cents worth at least.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  236. Mr.gk

    Do you think taxing consumer products (fast food, cigarette, ....) is a good idea? I don't think so because you consumer, you are first victim. Those taxes are taxes charged on buyer or consumer. Do not think financing health care reform before having health care reform bill. Right now, we need health care reform bill. When we get there, now we can think about financing health care. Thinking how to cross a river from point (A) to (B) without thinking how to build a bridge, it is unthinkable. Maybe, you can say that it is possible to use a boat. It is OK! But remember that the day water will be waving, you will not be able to cross the river. Here is my point. Let's first get healthcare bill done. Both house of representatives and senates, and white house have to make this bill done. Let's take the risk, then think financing health care cost.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  237. Charlie Erickson

    Look at the other side too; something which most politicians are unable/unwilling to do. The more "free" we would be without government intrusion, as you allude to, M. Garcia, the more that we will be at the mercy of (or lack thereof) of big business' self interests. Which, in essence, would make us less free.

    Government coming between big business interests and the people, has been hard fought for a very long time. Think of all of the protective regulations put into place since the Great Depression; from banking to environmental, and to product safety, real estate, advertising and marketing, food & medicine, etc., etc. It wasn't easy, and still isn't, as corporate bribery to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, have and still continue to find their way into political pockets.


    July 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  238. Kimberly

    Tax Congress- maybe forfeit 3/4 of their salaries to pay for this. Afterall they are in charge of our money – let's dangle their paychecks over there heads and maybe they will adjust to planning better. In a few months the majority have to begin thinking about their campaigns- I bet they will have money for that. Lets see how they budget for that- I hope no money comes from that stimulus – which I still don't see where that went. Maybe We the People should have more of a say right now- and demand there salaries be extremely cut! Thank you

    July 30, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  239. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I thought that we had talk about this long time ago. It seems to me that politicians are delaying the inevitable. Although what was said the economy is not nearly fixed. A lot people are losing jobs and a lot of people still looking for a job. I am one of those. When this question about ideas on how to pay for health care reform was done? So far the topic of Health Reform has never got as far as it has got. Certainly find an item to tax is the only way to get things done. Taxing marijuana for health care it does no sound to me to be right. Marijuana should not be patronized period. What we need is for the politicians to discuss the topic in the open and not in hidden chambers. We need to talk about and evade the topic. The situation on the Health in America was promoted by politicians. Bad politicians may I add. This should have being done long time ago. There you have hidden political agendas. There you have the whiner’s syndrome any other label that was used to attack the situation that has had not being taken care properly and seriously. The economy is bad and decisions have to be made. America can no longer wait for little games of “Politics as Always.”

    July 30, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  240. Jeff

    Health care reform. That's a contradiction in terms. At most, what will change will be the way our wallets are abused.

    New taxes? Let's tax all the fools calling the elderly promoting it and other political nonsense. Let's tax the politiical telephone calls by machine a dollar a call. Let's enforce the "Do Not Call list". Money collected would then pay for _real_ improved enforcement of the "Do Not Call" list. Let's tax email SPAM a dollar each. That would pay off the natioal debt. If the receiver complains, each such SPAM should be tax the SPAM sender ten dollars each. That would pay off the TARP.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  241. Hughes Dudahl

    Simple, Sin Tax: Alcohol, Tobacco, Gas Guslers, Porn, Fast Food, Gambling (Lotto 70%), (Casinos 70%), cut Tax Loopholes (3 year depreciation for Limos, Rolls Royces, H1 Hummers)

    July 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  242. Chris

    Two things we should tax -– those politicians healthcare program AND those people who pay ZERO for what they get. Both of these classes of people have lived off of our paychecks long enough. Tax the politicians because they are robbing us every day and take those who refuse to work or even look for work off of the "free loaders" wagon.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  243. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    @ M Garcia

    Yes, liberals swallow many lies that come out of Washington. For some reason they trust government, and this is unfathomable to me. Government is what brought us child labor, slavery, segregation, illegal wars, genocide, etc., etc.

    But you are every bit as guilty of believing the lies that come out of FOX "News". Those lies also come out of Washington, via the mouths of Republicans. In other words, stop being a hypocrite. Medicare and Medicaid are the best models of efficiency in government. Social Security is only insolvent, because idiot politicians keep borrowing money from it to pay for ilegal wars.

    Your belief that the free market solves everything is absurd. Our healthcare system is currently in shambles because of the greed associated with the free market. Anyone who thinks that we should put a profit margin on sick people, is lacking in intelligence and morality. The free market is why we haven't cured anything since polio. It is much more profitable to feed people over-priced drugs (drugs they sell overseas at half the price); than it is to cure the disease.

    There are certain things that are best left to government, like the military, education, infrastructure, and healthcare. They tend to try and minimize costs in these areas, as opposed to inflating profits. However, we cannot be taxing behavior to pay for healthcare, jsut because some waste of carbon thinks it is socially unacceptable. It is inconsistent with the concept of freedom and liberty.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  244. Rob

    Used to be a time when people went without. Today even people on welfare have things like cell phones, plasma tv`s, gas guzzling SUV`s, and the list goes on. When I grew up we were poor, we sometimes had to go without a phone because it was one bill you didnt HAVE to have, cable tv too. It used to be you asked for a helping hand and that just what you got because you had exhausted all avenues and you broke down for help, it was never their to withstain your wealth. It had become all to common for people to scam the welfare systen and its not even just the poor doing it, its being done by a good majority of middle income earners by hiding assests and income for the small business owner. We need to cut the waste and really decide who needs help and who needs a new tv or cell phone.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  245. Hughes Dudahl

    Martin Garcia, in Shoreline, WA

    Wow Martin, your comment
    "There are certain things that are best left to government, like the military, education, infrastructure, and healthcare. They tend to try and minimize costs in these areas, as opposed to inflating profits."

    and then Blaming Republicans and Fox News......

    Are you insane?.....Those bureaucrats in Washington are glorified, self serving "Sociopaths" (Look up the true definition). Somehow America got away from "protecting it's people" and now feels it needs to "provide for it's people". Yes we "should" to provide for "widows and orphans" but everyone else needs to pay their own way.

    On that note....we should identify and make every unwed father of a child pay child support on every child he produces.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  246. sena


    July 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  247. bernard L shellman

    Hi Heidi,
    Watch you quite often on CNN. I am a world War II veteran. I am a survivor of Omaha Beach , Battle of the Bulge and many other battles
    I left there with only a small wound , many others near me did not. I
    did not use schooling the government offered me but many others did .
    I am glad the government the veterans some good help, they sure deserve it.

    Thanks for allowing me this comment

    July 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  248. Xena Denton

    Instead of extending "sin taxes" to include food items that hit the little guy and almost never the rich guys, why not knock out some of the gigantic military boondoggles abd unneeded weapons systems.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  249. R. Vaughan

    First thing would be a 12% pay decrease for all federal elected and appointed employees, including Congress and Senate they cannot exempt themselves from this one. 2cents a gallon on gas. 100 dollar additional tax on vehicle registration for all vehicles with engines larger then 6 cylinders. 5 dollar tax for all incoming international flights. 1 dollar hotel tax. 1dollar rental car tax per day. 100 tax filing fee lawyers filing lawsuits. thats just a start.

    August 3, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  250. Traci Thompson

    There is no right to health care! President Obama's agenda is Socialism, plain and simple. Medicare is a disaster and "We the People" do NOT want the government to dictate our health treatments and benefits in the same manner. Do we need health care reform? Yes, we do. Why isn't tort reform in the proposed health bill? Why won't Congress agree to use the same health plan they propose? The Dem's health bill includes provisions that will not only provide the government with access and control over our health care, but also personal finances and parenting, including the government coming into our homes! Our representatives better vote NO on the GOVERNMENT "Public" health bill. The American people will ALWAYS fight for our LIBERTY.

    August 3, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  251. Old Conservative

    The gvt is not capable of writing a health care bill that would IMPROVE anything. Read the bill if you don't believe me. No improvements, just lots of govt crap.

    They need to simply put limits on lawsuits to minimize financial risk, limit what lawyers can charge for representing people with these mostly frivolous lawsuits.

    Expand requirements for medic-aid to include many of the currently uninsured, leaving out Illegals who need to go back where they came from for free health care. Launch a program to let people know what is already available and telling them how to apply.

    I don't want govt telling my doctor how he can care for me or what treatments he can use. We do just fine without their interference. I go once a year for a physical and again for flu shots. Contrary to what they say, seniors don't go to the doctor just because they can.

    They need to take the fraud and waste out of medicaid and medicare before they come up with another corrupt govt bureaucracy

    August 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  252. Amy Skewes-Cox

    Money to improve health care should partially come from taxes that directly connect to what creates health care costs in the first place. One of those is the corn syrup industry. Just view "Food, Inc." and you'll realize why our nation's children are suffering from so much diabetes. Just as we have taxed the tobacco industry to counteract the effects of smoking, we should tax the food industry that continues to degrade public health.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  253. Teri Hill

    For every medical lawsuit that takes the time to go thru the system, a percentage of this money awared should be also used to support the healthcare reform bill currently being discussed.

    I would like to suggest that all Health Care law suits have a 2 – 7 % percentage taken from both the planiff and lawyers winnings be given to the health care plan –

    August 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  254. Marilu Pal

    Tax Congressmen for all perks and then make them use the same health care as everyone else.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  255. Gary

    Didn't you get the word? Obama promised no new tax if you made less than $250,000 or have you forgotten.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  256. Velma J Miyagi

    Yes Amy, tax HFC (high fructose corn syrup) but don't stop there. All processed foods that contain derived additives should be taxed. If it contains ingredients you wouldn't see in your grandmother's cookbook, tax it.

    If a food is considered "processed" there should be required health warnings in their advertising. Speaking of warnings am I the only sick of the major pharmaceutical ads? Oh wait that's off topic. Heck tax those too!

    August 7, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  257. Scott

    I would tax the very rich, the insurance industry, and the drug manufacturers. In answer to the other question of whether I would attend a Town Hall meeting, the answer is no. They don't seem productive at all. Those that oppose health care reform have their minds made up and have no desire to hear the truth if it conflicts with their own "Rush Limbaugh" generated beliefs. I am sick of the right's lies and hate speech, and I am sick of CNN covering the lies as if it's just another opinion. Your job is to find the truth. When someone comes on CNN and lies about the bills that are under consideration, it's your job to "challenge" them and not let them get away with it. That's what being a journalist is all about. If a newspaper continued to print a story that they knew was false, they'd never get away with it. CNN has been doing the same thing by continuing to air Congressional reps and group's lies about the health care bills without being really challenged.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  258. Mike Abenilla

    Why tax,
    How do you put a price on YOUR life, or for the bean counters sake (the quality there of). Why do we let money hold us back from the the things we need? I realize our way of life is based on it, but let's think out of the box and consider human rights. Would you deny anyone in pain or even discomfort that came to your door and asked for help, if it was obvious they needed it?
    Every time there is a disaster somewere, governments, corporations, special groups, and just plain ole people give freely and without question. So why are we asking now? Why not treat the doctors as the Heroes that they are! Give them the ability to heal us without cost. Give them a welfare card or something like it, so they can get whatever they need. Have a secure and rigorus regestry program. Treat them like clergy, don't tax them. We allocate so much money to so many agencies and programs that we may or may not need.
    Well we all need health care.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  259. kc

    Who decides which food is "junk food". As far as I'm concerned, most of our food supply is "junk food"! Most of the labels you read have high fructose corn syrup as one of the main ingredients including things that give the impression that they are good for you. We could avoid all processed foods but, which fruits or vegetables are genetically modified or irradiated. If you eat eggs or meat or drink milk, you have to worry about growth hormones and antibotics, etc. and we wonder why so many Americans are overweight!

    August 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  260. ron lang

    I would raise the ceiling on Social Security to include all earned income. Today , when you reach $106,500.00 you no longer have to pay Social Security. I would include all citizens in Social Security, no exemptions. I would institute a 10% accross the board income tax on all earned income. Why go through all the tax this & tax that items that the congress & big business & the weathy people work into the giant tax bill. "KISS" Keep It Simple Stupid.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  261. kc

    Yes Velma, I too am sick of the pharmaceutical ads. I'm so sick of the propaganda, I can hardly watch tv anymore. Oh! Maybe I am suffering from depression! I should call my doctor today to get some prozac and since 2/3 of the people on prozac are still depressed, I better get some abilify too! It's ok if I might get liver problems or lymphoma or heart disease or commit suicide or whatever else the side effects are...I'm calling my doctor now because the tv told me to and at least I'll die happy!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  262. ron lang

    tax everyone at the same 10% rate regardless of where they receive their money from. no deductions. you make $10,000, you pay $1,000. you make $50,000,000, you pay $5,000,000.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  263. Clarine Kochis

    Me and my buddy were arguing about an issue similar to that! Right now I realize that I was perfect. lol! Thanks for the information you post.

    December 14, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  264. Mongoose Bike

    I wouldn't say that I wholeheardetly agree but there is some sense to this. On a side note, is this a WordPress site?

    January 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm |

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