Relative to all the recent veto brouhaha, Democrats are demanding that families with incomes four times the poverty level, or over $80,000 annually, receive free health insurance coverage through the Federally-funded States Childrens Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) for their children at an estimated cost of $35 billion -- without ensuring that 95% of children under the original S-CHIP threshold (families who make between one and two times the Federal poverty level) be covered first, as the Bush administration is insisting.
The Democrats' means of funding said expansion is by a sales tax on cigarettes -- a 156% increase above existing taxes, to be precise.
However, in the past, Democrats like Pelosi and Reid have screamed and whined that sales taxes are bad and horrible because they are "regressive" and disproportionately affect poor people, especially cigarette taxes. As an example of why, the Iowa 2006 Adult Tobacco Use Survey demonstrated (Table ES-1, page 3) that those at or below 200% of the poverty level (the S-CHIP cutoff) were over one and a half times as likely to be smokers as those who were above the poverty level.
So, phrased differently, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat Party not only are planning to allow states to ignore covering poorer children whose parents can't afford health insurance in favor of covering wealthier children whose parents can, as well as adults without children -- they are raising taxes that primarily affect those poorer childrens' parents to pay for it.
UPDATE: Seems there's an even better twist -- since black people are disproportionately represented among both smokers and those below 200% of the poverty line, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and the Democrat Party are not only planning to allow states to ignore covering poorer black children whose parents can't afford health insurance in favor of covering wealthier white children whose parents can -- they are raising taxes that primarily affect those poorer black childrens' parents to pay for it.
I wonder what race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have to say about that?