The Best Job Creation Program is also the Best Tax reduction Program, and Ohio is Proving it in Reverse

Posted On Sunday, 07 April 2013
The Best Job Creation Program is also the Best Tax reduction Program, and Ohio is Proving it in Reverse

But even Ohio, like you, gets a do-over.

Let’s see if Governor Kasich really cares about jobs for Ohio, and tax reduction for its citizens and businesses.

The largest cost increase that is causing the largest need for increased taxes in Ohio, is the removal by prior Governor Strickland of the 40 million for tobacco prevention in Ohio. I live in Ohio and work at the Cleveland Clinic, so I really care about Ohio. 

Since this move, Ohio spends less for tobacco prevention than any other state.

The Result? We have gone from 20.2 % smoking rate for adults in our state in 2009 (similar to the national average) to 25.4% now, while the rest of the USA has fallen to 19.2%  (CDC data from every two year surveys). 

Each smoker costs about $2000 more per year in direct medical costs.

That increase in smokers in Ohio will soon (there is a delay in costs of about 5 years - we have some increased costs now) result in a 1.1 billion extra bill (between 400 and 500 million extra health care costs burden for Medicaid and gov't employees and retirees in Ohio - they have a disproportionately greater tobacco usage) for the state of Ohio and our businesses, and taxes required from our citizens. 

This substantial requirement for more taxes due to prior Gov Strickland’s short-sighted actions can be reversed if 40-50 million is now devoted yearly to tobacco prevention.  

Such can come from equalizing the fees on non-cigarette tobacco products (taxed at 17% in Ohio) to 55% rate for cigarettes. 

Further, since the cost for just medical care in Ohio from tobacco products is now estimated at 5 to 6 billion, it would be appropriate to raise the tax rate to 330% to equalize these costs.  

That's right. All states should impose taxes that make the tax per pack about 25 dollars to pay for the direct medical costs caused by tobacco uses - and maybe 55 dollars if we are to account for the indirect costs (tobacco is the largest cause of social security disability payments).

The “Roizen Rule for a Younger YOU” here is “if lower taxes or use of taxes for a worthwhile benefit will make you younger (they do), chose to live in a state with a low tobacco use rate.”

But Ohio can reverse this 1 billion per year cost increase with just 50 million more a year.

There is hope for Ohio.

This over 5 percent increase in tobacco usage in Ohio caused by the removal of all tobacco prevention funding  puts Ohio businesses at a large competitive disadvantage for jobs.

Let's see if the current governor of the state really cares about job competitiveness for Ohio.



Michael Roizen, MD

Dr. Mike is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and co-founder of the well-known RealAge.com website, along with Dr. Mehmet Oz. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and health expert on Oprah.

Dr. Mike hosts the popular YOU The Owner's Manual Radio Show here on RadioMD.com, and on radio stations nationwide.

You can also visit his latest partnership with Dr. Oz at YOUBeauty.com.

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