IOM: Let’s Tax the Sick

[T]he committee concluded from a number of existing estimates and projections that federal spending on public health should at least be doubled from its current level of about $11.6 billion per year to approximately $24 billion as a starting point to meet the needs of public health departments.

Of the many ways to raise the additional funds, instituting a transaction tax on medical care services seems most promising, the committee concluded.

Entire News release. IOM’s report summary here.

Comments (8)

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  1. Meredith S. says:

    A transaction tax on medical care??? Don’t people understand that if the fed spends more that tax payers will pay for it…and half of Americans pay NO taxes. Where does that leave the rest of us?

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Public health advocates tend to overvalue their own efforts and want to expand the definition of public health into the area of prevention of unhealthy lifestyle habits.

    Infectious diseases are mostly controlled and the public water supply is relatively safe. So public health advocates now believe public awareness campaigns for obesity and funding more studies on taxing sugar (or fat) will make all the difference in the world. But it’s not so. Public health is mostly those diseases for which the detrimental effects (and benefits of control) cannot be internalized. Having the school health nurse weigh all the school kids and send home a report showing that Johnny or Juan is at the right tail of the weight distribution isn’t likely to affect a change in behavior.

  3. Matt says:

    “NO” taxes? No income tax maybe, but certainly sales tax, or they indirectly pay taxes by companies passing on the costs of their taxation through the costs of their goods and services.

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    Higher taxes on the sick will result in fewer sick people. Right?

  5. Hoads says:

    No Brian, higher taxes on sickness will result in less medical care for the sick.

  6. Brian says:

    I would like to know the proposed percentage of this “transaction tax”.

  7. Buster says:

    There is an erroneous (self-serving) view in the public health community that the U.S. spends too much money on sickness care and not enough on prevention. Of course public health workers and advocates for Public Health (i.e. the public health community) see nothing wrong with taxing medical care to infuse additional funds into the public health. This might create jobs and fuzzy warm feelings among public health workers and left-leaving, health policy wonks. But it would no almost nothing in terms of boosting healthy status. It is likely that total medical spending would rise on account of the wasteful spending created by taxing medical care.

  8. Camercie says:

    Catalin, you are probably right, but since Xbox360 is a DX9 devcie, waiting for DX10 in XNA would be not much of solution for me :/But, what if we compute a line that stretches across a polygon that is supposed to cast shadow. This line would connect the two most outer points of that polygon, the ones that are on the edges of your shadow. Then we could use that line for calculating shadow using Manders method. Off course such a shadow would partially cover the shadow casting object itself, but then we could draw that object on top of the shadow layer or maybe use a pixel shader to remove parts of a shadow that intersect with the shadow casting object itself.Again this is only a rough idea, based on my common sense logic and not a deep knowledge of the XNA and shaders. The knowledge which i unfortunately don’t posses (yet)