Quinn ties cigarette tax hike to health benefits

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois governors repeatedly have aimed at the same target for more money to address the state's financial gap -- cigarette smokers.

But for the first time, Gov. Pat Quinn has floated the idea of tying a cigarette tax hike to improving health care.

The Democrat says a $1-per-pack increase would bring in nearly $700 million -- including federal matching funds -- to help close a $2.7 billion Medicaid short fall, with the benefits going well beyond.

Quinn and health experts say raising the price gives smokers incentive to quit and deters young people from starting.

But the plan has raised questions about whether a hike could curb smoking, if it's a sensible funding source and if it will just push people to go out of state to shop.


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  • by Al on Apr 29, 2012 at 07:50 PM
    I don't smoke but easy fix for smokers just go to the indian reservations no tax.. what a ediot governor trying to fix problems with peoples bad habits.
  • by Vote him out on Apr 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM
    ok--I smoke but I pay my own insurance. Why should I have to pay more for my smokes just to support some people who can't or won't find a Job. Why dont you charge them a fee to help pay for their own healthcare... I mean how about a $10.00 co-pay or something. I pay my taxes. I don't mind paying for some of other peoples health care either. But Don't take anymore out on me. I am sick of this crap.
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