Monday, July 07, 2008

A Revolutionary Plan for Universal Health Care

So, over in the UK, there was a court case over Pringles chips. It seems the chips were subject to a 17.5 percent "value add" tax similar to other potato foods, except that Pringles are only 42 percent potato. The ruling allowed the chips to be tax exempt.

Now, you can wonder about a couple things here. First, exactly what is the other 58 percent of the chip? But more importantly the concept of taxing a certain food. I like this concept.

Are you ready? Deep breath, and here is the rant:

Because with all the subsidized ingredients going into these items, perhaps there should be a tax that somehow offsets the ultimate price of junk food consumption on all of us taxpayers.

That's right, kids. Tax the Baconator, The Big Gulp, The Biggie with Fries. Tax the crap out of the crap. That way, every time I see an obese four-year-old being pushed in a stroller while sipping a 32 oz. coke, at least I know that a buck was put back in investments for that kid's future battle in 40 years with Type II Diabetes.

But wait. There's more. Half of the funds raised off every chip, trans-fat laden donut, tater tot, chili fry, Whopper, soda, and sugar-packed cereal box goes toward nutrition education and making healthy foods accessible to those who can afford them least. Half for prevention, half for the aftermath. None of the burden on taxpayers unless we are eating those foods. Better foods for those who cannot afford them now. It's a big win. Unless you are a food manufacturer or fast food chain.

Think about it. Think about the funds raised daily from this kind of tax, based on what Americans eat, and just how much that would fund for public health care. It's staggering, isn't it?

I'm not crazy. I'm not out of line. They did a similar tax with another harmful product to try and cut consumption. This is, of course, cigarettes. Crap food is every bit as much of a threat, possibly more because at least they don't start pushing cigarettes to kids at age two through Cartoon Network.

Because, maybe, just maybe that kind of tax is what it will take to get food manufacturers to think about what they are selling. Or, to at least fund the impending health crisis in which 40 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys will have Type II Diabetes by middle age.

End rant.


Vicki said...

Good rant. Agree 100%.

Pamela Heywood said...

Yes, I've had similar thoughts myself about finding a way to give people a reason to NOT eat crap. And that's exactly what I think it wrong with this Pringles situation. Because it's made from 58% "mystery ingredient", which I guess we assume is something "unnatural", it gets exempt from tax. While "natural" products that are actually made from potatoes get taxed, making them more expensive. Which is the "poor" shopper going to buy? Priorities seem all wrong.

Janet said...

Great idea, although it might be easier and have the same effect if we just took away all the subsidies that make Big Gulps and the like so falsely cheap. Hmm. I wonder which is harder politically, raising taxes or cutting subsidies. In any case, as with gasoline, seems like price is the only thing the American public at large really responds to, so whatever it takes to jack up the price of crap food, the better for everyone's long-term health.

JaaJoe said...

Did you see the Bunk study stating 2/3 of doctors in America want National Health Care. The doctors who did this study also conducted one in 2002 and found that the majority of doctors did not want national health care, the problem with this is that the 2 question surveys drastically differ in there 2nd question. I found this article, 60% of Physicians Surveyed Oppose Switching to a National Health Care Plan, It's worth a read.

katiez said...

I like this idea!
What kid needs a 32oz Coke?????
And I'll never eat anothr Pringle... (road trip food)