Funding SCHIP

Here is the text of a letter that I wrote to both of my Senators in the federal government concerning the proposed expansion of health care coverage to more Americans through the SCHIP legislation:

Dear Senator,

I have noted that you voted to over ride the President's Veto of the SCHIP legislation.

First, let me indicate that actually I am in favor of expanding health care coverage to more Americans.

However I take issue with how Congress, including you, intends to pay for this expansion.

I find it hard to understand how you can rationalize that the residents of our state should have to be penalized more heavily, or bear more of the burden if you
prefer, of paying for this expansion then the residents of most other states.

I am sure that you are aware that Virginia is a tobacco state. Numerous residents of our state depend on tobacco for their livings. This includes tobacco farmers and those employed in the tobacco industry.

By raising tobacco taxes you vote to deprive these citizens of their livelihoods.

Besides, seeking to fund this expansion through an onerous increase in tobacco taxes is financially irresponsible. With such a drastic increase, numerous smokers are going to be priced out of the market and are going to decide to quit (I am a smoker and I will be one who quits) so the anticipated revenue is not going to be realized.

I request that in any negotiations for an increase in the SCHIP program you represent ALL the citizens of your state. That you insist that if the majority of Americans want such an increase then this same majority should be willing to pony up and help pay for it. The increase should not be a case of the majority unjustly taxing the minority and most certainly you must insist that your own state's economy must not be unfairly penalized.

I pray that you remember that you represent Virginia, and that Virginia is a tobacco state.


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