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Shameful! Big Tobacco Swiftboats Healthcare for Children

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The Wall Street Journal reports that tobacco companies spent over $12 million swiftboating a bill that would have funded a child health care program. This was similar to the program that a bi-partisan congress passed, which Bush vetoed.

While it was obvious that the congressional legislation used a tax on cigarettes to pay for the national program to fund the SCHIP program, this Oregon ballot measure makes it seem obvious that it is very likely that behind the scenes, tobacco lobbyists were leaning on southern legislators, in particular, to block the overturn of the veto.

Somehow this should be made much more visible. Shame on the tobacco companies for blocking healthcare for children.

The WSJ article reported, "Oregonians Against the Blank Check Committee, which was funded by Reynolds," as the group that ran the campaign. Sounds like swiftboating to me. A front group attacking an item on the ballot.

The article stated,
Supporters of the Oregon measure charge that the companies misrepresented the purpose of the tax. "They know that cigarette taxes are popular with the voters," said William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, "and what they have done is change the subject to anything but raising tobacco taxes to fund health insurance for children or to fund tobacco prevention."

Let's face it, tobacco IS a dwindling industry. It represents a huge "tax" on the nation's healthcare system. The people who smoke disproportionately "tax" the money spent on diseases caused by smoking.  Every pack of cigarettes that is sold costs taxpayers $7 in health care subsidies.

It's not fair that an industry can spend millions of tax-exempt dollars to oppose vote initiatives that are good for the people, while 501(c)3 non-profits are restricted from lobbying for healthy initiatives.

 

Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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I voted for this measure, which would have taxed s... by Diane Cadonau on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 at 4:15:04 PM
The desperation of a nation short-changed into the... by Jim Freeman on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 at 5:52:17 PM
Jim Consider for a moment the facts of smokers&rsq... by Andris on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 at 10:37:55 PM
to argue against smokers picking up the cost of ch... by Jim Freeman on Friday, Nov 9, 2007 at 10:09:40 AM
I said that the argument was morally weak that smo... by Andris on Friday, Nov 9, 2007 at 10:31:15 PM
The problem with Measure 50 was a simple one, and ... by Jon Kiparsky on Friday, Nov 9, 2007 at 9:41:25 PM