Why A Vote for Beebe's Tobacco Tax is a Vote for Abortion and Other Dot-Connecting
Lots of politicians in this state like to talk about how they are "pro-life". We are about to find out how many actually mean it. They are being asked to "give up" the unborn in exchange for what is likely an empty vague promise about "rural health care" centers.
Sure Governor Mike Beebe and the national Democrats have their trail covered pretty good, so that four years from now the "pro-life" legislators who vote for the tobacco tax (and thus for taxpayer funding of abortions in Arkansas) can have some fig leaf of protection that they "didn't know" about the plans for the excess funds from the cigarette tax. But they can know if they want to, because I am about to spell it out. The ones that are really pro-life will want to know, the posers will find a way to stay ignorant of what is going down.
I can see Beebe and company laughing at how those church people will help him get this "sin tax" passed, completely unaware how their piety is going to be used to provide taxpayer funding for abortion providers and contraceptive distribution to their 15 year old grand daughters.
The proposed tax increase will provide four times the money needed for the trauma center. Beebe is dropping vague hints about the rural "health centers" that will be funded with the excess, once again to dupe the church-going rural types into helping him pass something that they would be completely against if they knew what was happening in the background. Beebe can count on the state's loathsome print media to keep the lid on this thing until it is too late, and maybe even then.
You see, Beebe also says he wants the extra revenues to go after some unspecified "matching funding" that will be available through Medicaid. But Medicaid has been tightening its belt, where would they be offering more dollars? The answer can be found in the original "stimulus package" that new Democratic President Barack Obama offered. Over ten percent of the funding in the original plan was for matching Medicaid money for "family planning". This has always been a euphemism for contraceptives and abortion. The biggest receipient of such monies has traditionally been #1 abortion provider/referrer PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
The Republicans and some pro-life Democrats threw a fit over giving over 10% of the stimulus money for such a program, and so Obama took it out for now. Still, his intent is clear. His priority is known. Obama wants to increase Medicaid funding for contraceptives and abortion. The "rural health clinics" that the good Christian folks of rural Arkansas are hoping to see from this tax will offer abortions in their hometown.
Some liberals have countered that the Arkansas Constitution bans the use of public monies for abortion. That can be over-ridden by Federal law, such as the mis-named "Freedom of Choice Act". This bill, which Pelosi and Obama badly want passed into law, will basically ban the states from restricting access to abortion in any way. Combine it with the new Medicaid funding, and you have the perfect plot to bring abortion providers to rural Arkansas.
The critics are way off base in other ways too. For example, they assume smokers should be taxed more for health care because smoking causes health problems. While it is true that it causes health problems, the effect is normally to shave an average of about 8 years off the end of a person's life. In other words, smokers don't cost more in health care because they die sooner and do not live through the last decade of normal life where medical expenses really shoot up.
Representative Ed Garner has a plan to fund the trauma system without a tax increase. It would not have any leftover money to build abortion clinics in rural Arkansas or enrich the coffers of Planned Parenthood, it just funds the trauma system. Actually, it may fall a few million short of raising the 26 million dollars needed, but at a time when we have a 300 million dollar state surplus, it surely makes more sense to do it that way than to raise taxes for four times the amount needed for the trauma system.