A press release by the Heartland Institute today sheds light on some of the bizarro-world logic going on in the minds of SCHIP expansion supporters:
"Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt disputing that the poor would pay a disproportionate amount from the cigarette tax proposed to fund expansion of SCHIP. Dingell cited government data showing 60 percent of smokers have incomes 200 percent or more above the poverty level."
Which leads us to the obvious question…
"The proposed SCHIP expansion, however, would cover families with incomes up to 300 percent above the poverty level. Why is 200 percent of poverty deemed wealthy enough to afford a new tax, while 300 percent of poverty is deemed poor enough to be eligible for a government health insurance entitlement program?"
Nevermind the research that shows we would need 22 million more smokers in order for the cigarette tax increase to finance the proposed program expansion.