From the Associated Press:
In a bid to ramp up the public health battle against obesity, a group of nutrition and economics experts are pushing for a tax of 1 cent on every of ounce of sodas and other sweetened beverages.
Proposals for a hefty soda tax though have repeatedly fallen flat. The idea was even floated as a way to help pay for health care reform, but government officials on Wednesday said that's not likely to happen.
The experts' plan was released by the influential New England Journal of Medicine, in a health policy article by Arkansas' surgeon general, New York City's health commissioner and five national experts on health and economics.
A soda tax would generate tax revenue while discouraging people from consuming extra calories, the authors contend. They cited a series of studies that showed higher rates of obesity and diabetes among women who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages. They argue that a steeper soda tax would borrow the same strategy that helped drive down cigarette smoking while bolstering government revenues.
But a golden opportunity for enacting a national soda tax apparently slipped away Wednesday, when the Senate Finance Committee released its health reform proposal without a previously considered soda tax provision.