HB 1013 would have provided $174 million in new revenue for our state’s Medicaid and trauma care programs through a $1 cigarette tax. We think it’s a shame that the bill never even made it out of committee, as Mississippians deserve to know where their senators stand on this important public health issue. Unfortunately, it has become an issue of right or left instead of right or wrong.
Medicaid spends $264 million on tobacco-related health care expenditures. The state's current excise tax on cigarettes is the 49th lowest in the nation. It just makes no sense to say you are against a tax on cigarettes (which sends people to our state’s hospitals) to fund the Medicaid program and for a tax that could shut the doors of your local hospital that provides that care when needed.