Arizona’s Fat Tax

April 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm 1 comment

I was checking out the news this morning and this headline “Arizona Considering $50 Tax for Smokers, Obese” caught my attention. Under this proposal Medicaid users would be subject to an extra $50 tax for smoking or being obese. A spokesperson for the state of Arizona said that they hope this will give Medicaid users a sense of greater accountability for the decisions they make daily that have an impact on their health. Other private insurers in other states such as North Carolina have already implemented similar plans, but met with a lot of opposition as they were first introduced. Obviously a lot of things need to be thought through, such as how obesity will be measured, how actually efforts to lose weight will be assessed and how to react to obesity that is the direct result of another health problem, but I think that this is an interesting move.

What will this actually mean for someone who has to pay this tax? Will it be enough to make someone who is making unhealthy choices really think about their actions or is it too removed from the actual point where people are making their decisions? Weigh in America, what do you think? Is this tax too invasive, or is it needed? As a nation we’re growing around the middle faster than many people ever anticipated, but how much of this is directly related to individual choice?


Entry filed under: BMI, government action, weight loss.

Under Accumulators of Health Pouring On the Pounds?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. brittae  |  April 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I love this idea! If we are going to have taxes these need to be the kind we have. Reward good behavior and tax bad behavior so the healthy working class doesn’t have to support unhealthy obese people!


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