Effects Of Sin Taxes

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Sin Taxes and Their Impact on Health Care
Merriam-Webster defines a sin tax as “a tax on substances or activities considered sinful or harmful (as tobacco, alcohol, or gambling)” (np). Sin taxes are “a form of excise tax. That is a tax levied on some but not on all commodities” (Sadowsky 1). Simply put, Sin taxes are used to control the supply and demand of certain products. By increasing the cost of items it deems harmful, the government can decrease that item’s desirability. Decreasing desirability decreases demand, which decreases supply in correlation. It is a cycle that sin taxes allow the government to somewhat control. However, a complete absence of these products is unlikely, so the government is still receiving money from taxing ‘sin
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It is the opinion of Doctors Chaufan and Fox, as well as Mr. Hong, that “the critical causes of skyrocketing U.S. health care costs generally- the administrative overhead of a for-profit system and the limited market power of health care consumers- are logically and empirically unrelated to obesity and would be unlikely to change even if obesity rates decreased dramatically” (1). They further go on to explain the benefits of using sin taxes to decrease the cost of healthy food, instead of increase the cost of unhealthy foods. “Obesity thrives in low-income communities where the quality of food and built environments is poor. Interventions that have been shown to improve those environments include subsidies to farmers ' markets and more healthful school lunches…” (Chaufan, Fox, Hong 1). They conclude that overall, the best way to overcome obesity with sin taxes is by using funding raised via sin taxes to help provide healthy options and opportunities to low-income communities. “We believe that a revenue-generating approach that redirects ‘sin taxes’ toward improving the food and building environments of low-income populations has the greatest potential both to lead to healthier food choices overall and to reduce disparities in obesity rates” (Chafan, Fox, Hong 1).
According to Pulsinelli, senior web editor for the Houston Web Journal “Texas… rakes in more revenue from ‘sin taxes’ than any other state…” (1). Pulsinelli says that most of this revenue comes from taxes on tobacco, “nearly $1.47 billion in 2012…” (1), and “another $937.6 million came from alcohol…” (1). Since these figures were taken in 2012, Texas has been in and out of the position of top state to bring in most revenue from sin taxes, but it is consistently at the top of the

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