Another Attempt at Behavior Control

In a previous blog entry we brought up the fact that in Vermont it is not acceptable to allow the free market to encourage healthy behavior by offering lower health insurance premiums for people who engage in healthy behavior and pose lower health risks.

Here in Vermont, the preferred way to  influence such behavior is through government control.  This approach has shown up once again in our tax policy, as expressed in the following True North article.  At issue here is a proposed $1 to $1.25 increase in the tax on tobacco products.  One would think that the primary purpose of a tax is to raise the needed revenue to run the legitimate functions of government.  Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the purpose of this tax:

The article quotes Tina Zuk, spokeswoman for the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont: “The overall price per pack of tobacco would have to be increased by at least 10% to be an effective public health tool”.

Here again is evidence that progressives see the purpose of government as a tool to control our behavior.  The control of our behavior is too important to be left up to market incentives, thus health care insurance companies are not allowed to offer discounts for healthy behavior.  No, such power must remain in the hands of our enlightened political leadership.  Who else is wise enough to decide which virtues to encourage and which vices to discourage?