Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cigarette Tax in California: Pay for ER Care?

From the San Mateo County Times:

The battle over next year's ballot initiatives is already beginning, with health-care groups feuding over two different measures that would impose new taxes on tobacco.

On one side, the California Hospital Association is now seeking voter signatures to put an initiative on the June primary ballot that would impose a $1.50 tax on cigarettes to offset hospitals' costs for providing emergency-room care.

On the other side are anti-smoking groups such as the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, which are hoping to put their own $1.50 tobacco-tax measure on the November ballot. Their initiative, also supported by children's advocates and the California Nurses Association — the hospitals' frequent nemesis — would use the money to provide health insurance for all uninsured children in California and pay for tobacco-control programs.


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