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AARP: Majority of Smokers Favor Increased Tobacco Tax to Pay for CHIP

WASHINGTON—AARP released a statement today regarding the President’s promised second veto of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The statement, from AARP CEO Bill Novelli, follows:

“The President said this week he will veto any children’s health care bill paid for with higher tobacco taxes. This is out of sync with the American people. The country overwhelmingly supports increased tobacco taxes to fund health insurance for uninsured kids. Even most smokers—51 percent according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids—favor the proposed increase. The President says the tax is regressive, hurting the same low-income families CHIP is designed to help. But nearly two-thirds of Americans making less than $30,000 each year support a higher tobacco tax to fund CHIP.

“The American people want to help our children and grandchildren, not tobacco companies. Expanding CHIP and paying for the program with higher tobacco taxes is a smart, popular and responsible way to begin reducing the number of uninsured in this country. Paying for children’s health coverage with a tobacco tax could also help improve the health of the entire country by reducing smoking at all ages.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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