Republicans: Use Tobacco Tax To Pay For Children's Healthcare

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Unlike plans from the Governor and Democrats, the Senate Republicans proposal would not mandate healthcare coverage.  Instead, it would offer incentives – such as tax breaks – to employers who provide insurance.  It also includes asking voters to re-direct tobacco tax dollars to pay for children’s healthcare.  That tax currently funds the First Five Commission’s work to promote early childhood development.  Republican Senator George Runner:

 "On TV we pay for ads that talk about parents learning how to talk to their children, well, that’s a nice ad, but if health care is our first priority, then maybe that’s where we should be spending our money.”

The plan also relies on the federal government to pay for care of the undocumented.  Critics of the plan say it’s not a realistic fix because it doesn’t include new funding sources.