Soda tax bubbling up

Washington already has a tax on sodas, and discussions on a similar tax in Oregon are under way.

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Although there currently is no proposed bill in Congress or the Oregon Legislature, a soda “sin tax” could be in Oregon’s future.

A representative for Sen. Jeff Merkley said a soda tax was discussed as a possible way to underwrite the universal healthcare bill early on in the healthcare debates.

Although the state legislature has not proposed the soda tax, the Oregon Health Improvement Plan Committee has suggested the tax as a way to improve community health throughout the state.

“Our main goal in public health is to deal with the really difficult problem of obesity,” said Oregon Department of Human Services State Health Officer Dr. Mel Kohn. “A third of the increase in healthcare costs between 1999 and 2005 can be attributed to the prevalence of obesity.”

Read more at the Central Oregonian.

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