Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

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Editor
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

The tobacco tax PLUS the tobacco settlement money was supposed to offset smoking related health costs, no? What happens when that money is factored into all the duelling equations I'm reading here?

skf

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]Over 550,000 Americans each year die of lung cancer.

Less than 20,000 Americans each year die of AIDs.[/quote]

But that's my point - most people who get lung cancer die - but that's not true of AIDS patients anymore. You can't compare mortality - final mortality cost nothing except the cost of the burial.

It's treating the living that costs money.

And even if the proportion was as you described above - I postulated that treating an individual AIDS patient costs 15 times what treating a lung cancer patient costs. So treating 20,000 AIDS patients would cost what treating 300,000 lung cancer patients would be.

It is a very significant amount - enough to say that if you think there is a significant cost to treating lung cancer - a cost so large that it is a broad social issue - you would be pressed to say the same thing about treating AIDS.

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Editor"]The tobacco tax PLUS the tobacco settlement money was supposed to offset smoking related health costs, no? What happens when that money is factored into all the duelling equations I'm reading here?[/quote]

I'm against the tax increase. As said before, it is just a money grab.

But Tom's arguments are stupid.

Get the government out of the health insurance business and let everyone pay the costs of their lifestyle, whatever it may be.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

Is "stupid" the best you could do?

And are you suggesting getting rid of Medicaid?

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Tom C"][quote="Dan Billings"]Over 550,000 Americans each year die of lung cancer.

Less than 20,000 Americans each year die of AIDs.[/quote]

But that's my point - most people who get lung cancer die - but that's not true of AIDS patients anymore. You can't compare mortality - final mortality cost nothing except the cost of the burial.

It's treating the living that costs money.

And even if the proportion was as you described above - I postulated that treating an individual AIDS patient costs 15 times what treating a lung cancer patient costs. So treating 20,000 AIDS patients would cost what treating 300,000 lung cancer patients would be.

It is a very significant amount - enough to say that if you think there is a significant cost to treating lung cancer - a cost so large that it is a broad social issue - you would be pressed to say the same thing about treating AIDS.[/quote]

There are less than 40,000 new cases of AIDs each year.

There are over 550,000 new cases od lung cancer every year.

And that is only one smoking related disease.

The number of AIDs cases are so small and the number of smoking related illnesses are so large that the costs are not even in the same ballpark.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="...---..."]So why tax people more who engage in "unhealthy behavior"?
[/quote]

If we are going to tax unhealthy behavior, then lets pick unhealthy behavior to tax, not just pick and tax the politically correct punching bags of the day.

I believe that taxing smokers is a political issue - NOT a health and economic issue.

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Tom C"]And are you suggesting getting rid of Medicaid?[/quote]

As we currently know it, yes.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]

There are less than 40,000 new cases of AIDs each year.

There are over 550,000 new cases od lung cancer every year.

[/quote]

But an AIDS case costs more than 10 times what a lung cancer case costs. Using a factor of 15 applied to your number above, 40,000 AIDS cases cost what 600,000 lung cancer cases costs. Just using those numbers, AIDS costs MORE than lung cancer.

And AIDS wipes out people in the prime of life - you lose almost an entire productive career. With lung cancer folks have worked, raised families, and spent their working lives paying into the income tax and social security system. The indirect cost of an AIDS case - lost wages and taxes alone, raises it's cost per case much, much hire than smoking-type diseases which happen much later in life.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="Tom C"]And are you suggesting getting rid of Medicaid?[/quote]

As we currently know it, yes.[/quote]

That I agree with, Maine Medicaid is out of control. And with 300,000 people on it in one form or another, we have created such a dependency, that I think we have reached a tipping point for political and economic purposes.

We have dug a very deep hole for ourselves.

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

You are way off on the annual treatment costs of AIDs v. lung cancer. The latest numbers that I have found shows that the cost per patient for AIDs is only about 50% more than it is to treat lung cancer.

I have found a couple of different sources that indicate that health care costs related to AIDs in the U.S. are around $10 billion per year. The same costs realted to smoking are $100 billion per year.

By the way, lots of people get lung cancer in the prime of life. The numbers of lung cancers are so much higher, my guess is the numbers are higher than similar AIDs cases.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]You are way off on the annual treatment costs of AIDs v. lung cancer. The latest numbers that I have found shows that the cost per patient for AIDs is only about 50% more than it is to treat lung cancer.

[/quote]

Sure, and that coincides with my estimate of $65,000 a year to treat an AIDS patient and your number, which I accepted of $42,000 to treat a cancer patient. You have offered nothing new that contradicts what I have asserted.

Interesting stats you also offer - annually there are 550,000 lung cancer cases and 550,000 death from lung cancer. About everyone who gets lung cancer dies from it. And when they die, of course, you stop treating them, the costs stop.

There are 40,000 cases of AIDS every year, and 20,000 deaths from AIDS. Due to advances in treatments that spread will continue to grow. Fact is most people who develop AIDS will live for a long time, fortunately. Present estimates are about 20 years, and that can be expected to increase.

So, your stats are again consistent with assertions I have made.

The difference is that the much better prognoses - much longer life expectancy - includes continued costs. And it is exactly [b]that [/b]which brings the cost of treating AIDS patients, although a fewer patients, up closer to the cost of treating lung cancer patients.

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

Lung cancer is only one of the smoking related diseases.

Do you have any source that supports your claim that AIDs is as costly as smoking? Anything?

I have found a number of sources that claim smoking causes $100 billion in health care costs a year.

All the annual numbers for AIDs that I can find are less than $10 billion.

By the way, AIDs is becoming more of chronic illness. Many people live productive lives for many years through drug treatment.

Would you suggest that we would be better off if people with diabets or epilepsy just died because of the costs of treating those chronic illnesses?

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]Lung cancer is only one of the smoking related diseases.

Do you have any source that supports your claim that AIDS is as costly as smoking? Anything? [/quote]

Dan, I have used your own numbers and reasonable other data and shown you exactly how I have come to my conclusion. I'm sorry that I don't have a signed letter from Dr. Dora Mills, or whoever it is this year, that says AIDS is expensive. But you know, as I said, the last thing the gay lobby would let out would be facts related to this. Point to the flaw in my logic, don't just dismiss the result as "stupid".

If you want to have an honest debate, that's fine. If slinging ad homs is how you counter an issue, then you don't need me here to do that.

[quote="Dan Billings"]I have found a number of sources that claim smoking causes $100 billion in health care costs a year.

All the annual numbers for AIDS that I can find are less than $10 billion.[/quote]

Dan, the part of the costs you don't see (being in Augusta as much as you are) is the FUTURE costs of an AIDS patient. We have incurred most of the cost of a lung cancer patient this year, and then they were cured or died and we were done with them. AIDS patients that we spent 10 billion on this year, we are likely to spend 10 billion a year on for the next 20 years. So pointing to the number of AIDS patients and comparing what we spent on them THIS YEAR, and comparing it to what we spent on lung cancer patients THIS YEAR this year is meaningless. It's like comparing the cost of your payments this year if you bought a truck outright or financed it. And that is why you are having such a hard time with my numbers, because you aren't grasping that.

[quote="Dan Billings"] By the way, AIDS is becoming more of chronic illness. Many people live productive lives for many years through drug treatment.
[/quote]

Well, that's good and nice, but if you are speaking in the abstract, rather than dealing with actual AIDS patients, then you know that is very much the exception, and not the rule. This tends to be a very debilitating disease, and mere optimism does not make it otherwise.

[quote="Dan Billings"] Would you suggest that we would be better off if people with diabetes or epilepsy just died because of the costs of treating those chronic illnesses[/quote]

Nice little rhetorical trick, merging "cost" and "better off". Get real.

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Tom C"]Dan, I have used your own numbers and reasonable other data and shown you exactly how I have come to my conclusion. [/quote]

You have reached your conclusion by comparing AIDs to only lung cancer.

Even there your numbers don't work.

AIDs is expensive. But it is also effects a much smaller number of people than the more common diseases that eat up or health care budgets.

By the way, you are repeating the propaganda from the gay lobby that AIDs is one of our biggest health care problems. It's not.

[quote="Tom C"]Dan, the part of the costs you don't see (being in Augusta as much as you are) is the FUTURE costs of an AIDS patient. We have incurred most of the cost of a lung cancer patient this year, and then they were cured or died and we were done with them. AIDS patients that we spent 10 billion on this year, we are likely to spend 10 billion a year on for the next 20 years. [/quote]

And the same is true of smoking. $100 billion this year. $100 billion next year. $100 billion (or more) for the next 20 years. 550,000 die from lung cancer and another 550,000 get sick.

Unless people stop smoking in large numbers, the numbers are not going to drop.

By the way, the AIDs numbers and costs have not grown at anywhere close to the predictions made 10 to 15 years ago. It is not a major cost driver in our health care system. Your focus on it says a lot about you.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]

[quote="Tom C"]Dan, the part of the costs you don't see (being in Augusta as much as you are) is the FUTURE costs of an AIDS patient. We have incurred most of the cost of a lung cancer patient this year, and then they were cured or died and we were done with them. AIDS patients that we spent 10 billion on this year, we are likely to spend 10 billion a year on for the next 20 years. [/quote]

And the same is true of smoking. $100 billion this year. $100 billion next year. $100 billion (or more) for the next 20 years. 550,000 die from lung cancer and another 550,000 get sick.

Unless people stop smoking in large numbers, the numbers are not going to drop.[/quote]

No, and that is my point - lung cancer costs will stay the same. They will even decrease slightly as smoking becomes less commonplace.

But, and here is my point - the number of AIDS patients treated every year will continue to grow. The 40,000 new cases this year have an average life expectancy of about 24 years. After 10 years, you will have 400,000 more AIDS patients in the system then you have now, which will be about parity with lung cancer patients.

And the result of risky behavior isn't just contracting AIDS, aside from HIV, hepetitis, veneral deseases and a whole plethora of drug-connected symptoms - AIDS is only a part of the total negative outcomes and costs to be considered here.

[quote="Dan Billings"]By the way, the AIDs numbers and costs have not grown at anywhere close to the predictions made 10 to 15 years ago. It is not a major cost driver in our health care system. Your focus on it says a lot about you.[/quote]

If you say so.

If you think that adding 10 billion a year to treat one-tenth of the population doesn't have an effect on healthcare and that our problems with the healthcare system are only what we are paying now, that says a lot about you.

Tom C
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I be diggin...

I tried to check your numbers, and found great variences.

[quote] An estimated 173,700 new cases of lung cancer and an estimated 160,440 deaths from lung cancer will occur in the United States during 2004.[/quote]

[url=http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35427] SOURCE[/url]

Cuts your 550,000 number by about third. The half-million seems to be the total number of cancer cases, not just lung cancer.

Prognosis for lung cancer is not good - about 60% mortality in 1 year and 75% in 2 years after diagnosis. [url=http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=669263] SOURCE[/url]
Since this is skewed (some live many years) let's say the average is about a year and a half.

Using your number, a lung cancer patient will incur total costs of 42,000/year x 1.5 years or about $63,000.

Estimates of cost of AIDS over lifetime is about $650,000 or about ten times as much. [url=http://www.meditas.org/nursing_careers_in_usa.asp?florida_nursing_agency... SOURCE[/url]

So, 40,000 new cases of AIDS x $650,000 total cost per case - total costs of new cases added about 26 billion

175,000 lung cancer cases at $63,000 total cost of new cases: 11 billion.

I'd check your sources. Doesn't look cheaper to me. Even if you could knock that down quite a bit, the cost of AIDS is not an insignificant number.

Anonymous
Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

Governor Gimmick can have fun with this math class :shock:

maine101
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

What about the smokers that have AIDS, do you have any numbers on that? I think that is just a tragedy right there and we need the $1 increase here in Maine to treat those people.

JIMV
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Tom C"]He'll just try to get it from somewhere else.

Anyway, what is the rationale for taxing smokers so heavily? It is a legal activity, why single out smokers?[/quote]

Because they can

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Tom C"]
But, and here is my point - the number of AIDS patients treated every year will continue to grow. The 40,000 new cases this year have an average life expectancy of about 24 years. After 10 years, you will have 400,000 more AIDS patients in the system then you have now, which will be about parity with lung cancer patients. [/quote]

The AIDs alarmists made those arguements 10 and 20 years ago. The sky is not falling. The number of cases has not grown as predicted and the costs per case have dropped.

By the way, are you suggesting that we tax sex? If the government could figure out a way to do it, I'm sure that they would.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"]

The AIDs alarmists made those arguements 10 and 20 years ago. The sky is not falling. The number of cases has not grown as predicted and the costs per case have dropped.[/quote]

40,000 cases a year is a significant amount. About that many folks die in car accidents, and we spend a ton of prevention on that, clicket or ticket, blah, blah, blah.

Also, the lies from the gay lobby came when they wanted lots of funding for funding for research - not for health care costs, which is paid anyway. They had a huge PR campaign to put pressure on for research by telling us that anyone could get AIDS - it wasn't just gay folks and drug users and people who died when gay folks and drug users gave blood.

"Heck, Dan, you could get AIDS. Tomarrow. So, you'd better fund research to find a cure before [b]you[/b] die from it!"

Of course, the lie was that most all AIDS cases [b]are[/b] related to gay sex. There is also a significant portion is from drug use and a few cases related to blood donations from those high-risk folks. Rather than stop doing what was causing it - they demanded we looked to cure the result.

Strange, when you think about it that way. In other words: Let me smoke, not use a seat beat, and you can take care of me when things go wrong, as they probably will.

We do all kinds of stuff to discourage unhealthy behavior. Public service messages all the time. I am just saying be honest about about what behaviors you point out are unhealthy, expensive and should be socially discouraged. And if you want to blame smokers for the result of their unhealthy behavior then you should be consistant.

[quote="Dan Billings"] By the way, are you suggesting that we tax sex? If the government could figure out a way to do it, I'm sure that they would.[/quote]

Excellent! I'd finally get a tax refund!

Peter
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="Tom C"]
But, and here is my point - the number of AIDS patients treated every year will continue to grow. The 40,000 new cases this year have an average life expectancy of about 24 years. After 10 years, you will have 400,000 more AIDS patients in the system then you have now, which will be about parity with lung cancer patients. [/quote]

The AIDs alarmists made those arguements 10 and 20 years ago. The sky is not falling. The number of cases has not grown as predicted and the costs per case have dropped.

By the way, are you suggesting that we tax sex? If the government could figure out a way to do it, I'm sure that they would.[/quote]

TAX IT
I am married, wont cost me a thing!

Frostman
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

I pay enough taxes already. No need to quadruple the revenue stream the state gets from me, were a "sex-tax" to be enacted. Given the last few posts, I'm beginning to understand why you guys are so damn uptight/high-strung all the time…

Dan Billings
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

Properly collecting and accounting for what is due under a sex tax would be difficult.

However, this may be the only tax where self-reporting would result in an overpayment of what is actually due!

At least from men.

:D

Frostman
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

doh!

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[quote="Frostman"]I pay enough taxes already. No need to quadruple the revenue stream the state gets from me, were a "sex-tax" to be enacted. Given the last few posts, I'm beginning to understand why you guys are so damn uptight/high-strung all the time…[/quote]

You'd need a graduated rate - sex with your spouse would be $5. Sex with your fiancee before marriage would be $15. Sex on a hot weekend with a foxy stud or studette woud be $100. Masterbation would be 5 cents.

I just calculated my tax bill for 2006.

My tax is 85 cents.

Dan Billings
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Way too much information.

Tom C
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Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

Ummm... I lied.

I just came from H&R Blockhead, the fellow there browbeat me and I can say now that after reporting ALL my taxable activity, my tax is $4.35.

However, I have appointed myself "Constitutional Ranger" and will soon commence a civil disturbance to protest this unfair tax.

Anonymous
Baldez $1-a-pack tax increase may be up in smoke

[size=24]The tax on packs[/size]
By BDN Staff
Friday, January 26, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

As much as Maine celebrates its falling rate of smokers, Gov. John Baldacci’s budget shows the extent to which the state depends on them continuing their habit. He is proposing a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes to raise an additional $130 million over the biennium. Democratic leaders are saying this isn’t likely, marking the second time recently that this added tax has potentially come and gone.

It’s time for Maine to take a broader view of what it wants from tobacco.

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/viewpoints.aspx?articleid=145598&zonei...

angler.k
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Where are we going?

Are there numbers somewhere that show how the tax increase, which cuts consumption, effects the income to the state?

The point is, in order to keep the same amount of income being generated the price will have to continue to rise, and consumption will continue to fall. In a normal free market environment the price would be adjusted to keep selling the product. But, this isn't a normal situation.

Has anyone done the projections including a timeline?

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