Well, I hope the national Democrat leadership and their S-CHIP-peddling minions are paying attention. You know that brilliant idea of funding children’s health insurance with tobacco taxes? Liberal Oregon said no yesterday, voting down a massive tobacco tax hike ballot measure to pay for government-subsidized health care:
Oregon’s working poor will have to wait a while longer to get health-care coverage for their children.
Voters easily defeated Measure 50, a plan to raise tobacco taxes to provide universal health care for children after a record-shattering negative ad campaign financed by cigarette companies.
The measure went down by a wide margin, both statewide and in Marion and Polk counties.
Dubbed the Healthy Kids Program, Measure 50 was a top priority of Gov. Ted Kulongoski and fellow Democrats in the Oregon Legislature. Democrats placed the constitutional amendment on the ballot when they couldn’t get enough Republican votes to pass it outright or submit it to voters as a simple statute.
“The tobacco industry won this battle,” Kulongoski told a somber crowd of Measure 50 supporters in Portland. “But they will not win the war.”
In Salem, pediatrician James Lace said tobacco companies ran an effective campaign, “and they outspent us 4 to 1.”
“I think it failed because people got confused by the whole issue of the constitutional amendment,” he said .
J.L. Wilson, a spokesman for the RJ Reynolds campaign to defeat the tax increase, said the tobacco companies’ $12 million budget helped, but only because it raised legitimate concerns about Measure 50.
“Ultimately I think the measure collapsed under its own weight,” Wilson said.
Supporters of the measure blame the evil tobacco industry’s ad campaign for misleading voters. But it’s S-CHIP supporters who are the manipulators. The electorate in Oregon soundly rejected the plan not because they are gullible and stupid and “confused,” but because they looked past the kiddie human shields and saw the regressive tax increase and entitlement expansion Trojan Horse for what they were:
Bad, bad ideas.
Related: Love this ad so much, I’m linking again: