Taxing bad behavior It is common knowledge that the government can reduce bad behavior by taxing or penalizing it. Tobacco and alcohol use are the perfect examples. Every time the tax rates increase on tobacco products, some people quit using tobacco. It happens with alcohol also. Some people quit or reduce consumption because they cant afford it anymore. Some because they just dont want to pay the increased taxes. A few years, the city of Chicago instituted a 5 cent tax on bottled water. They said they needed the tax money because all those empty bottles were getting into landfills. I guess they sort of forgot about their recycling programs. The sales of bottled water dropped, and Chicago didnt get the revenue stream they anticipated and wrote into their budget. By the way, the reason I know this about Chicagos bottled water tax is because I am the IT person for a fortune 100 retailer that had to develop the reporting so that our company could collect and pay the tax to the city. Our sales of water have dropped dramatically since the tax was introduced. Part of the health care bill calls for a tax on so-called Cadillac health care plans. Just like tobacco, alcohol and water, this will price some people out of the market. Instead, they will settle for a sub-prime health care plan. The government wont get its anticipated revenue stream, and some person will end up not getting the type of medical care they really wanted to and was willing to pay for. Another part of the health care bill calls for taxing manufacturers of medical equipment. I am willing to bet, those costs will be passed on and some doctor or hospital will just buy less medical equipment. The anticipated taxes wont be realized, and the medical services that could have been provided with that equipment wont be available. Anybody with a lick of common sense knows that unfairly taxing something reduces a persons propensity to engage in that behavior. Putting special taxes on medical related goods and services isnt going to improve medical care any more that putting special taxes on tobacco increases the sale of tobacco products. I'm not sure why the government thinks medical care is bad behavior.