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Letter: How to pay for Medicaid: just increase the tobacco tax

Letter: How to pay for Medicaid: just increase the tobacco tax

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Smoking Age Limit

With a new law enacted in December 2019, anyone under 21 can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco products in the U.S. It also applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that heat a liquid containing nicotine.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Regarding "Missouri governor scuttles Medicaid expansion after lawmakers provide no money" (May 13): Here are some suggestions for our Missouri elected representatives on how to pay for Medicaid expansion: First and foremost, raise the tax on all tobacco products by $2 to $3 per cigarette pack. Cancer from smoking is a major burden on the medical service industry. This would also make smoking a cost deterrent to most teenagers never to begin the habit.

Second, raise the tax on soda and carbonated soft drinks, which have been proven to be a major cause to childhood obesity. Then raise the tax on beer and alcohol. Need we go in depth on that one?

All it takes is a little common sense (which makes one wonder if that exists in Jefferson City) and creative thinking to fund the express wishes of the voters of the great state of Missouri.

Dan Weir • South County

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