Mayor Bloomberg 's controversial ban on large, sugary sodas fell flat Monday when a judge shredded nearly every legal argument advanced by the mayor’s lawyers and tossed the regulation out.
The sweeping ruling, a day before the ban was to take effect, was a stinging setback for Bloomberg, who won national acclaim in pushing the regulation — and condemnation that he was creating a nanny state.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling dismissed the rule as “arbitrary and capricious,” with too many loopholes and exemptions, siding with soda companies and business groups that had taken the city to court.
Tracing the Board of Health’s powers more than 300 years to the late 1600s under Britain’s King James II, the judge said the city agency simply had no authority to issue it. Only the City Council had that power, he said. “One of the fundamental tenets of democratic governance here in New York, as well as throughout the nation, is the separation of powers. . . . No one person, agency, department or branch is above or beyond this,” the judge said.
Judge Milton A. Tingling put the kibosh on Mayor Bloomberg's ban one day before it was to go into effect.
The rule “would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it,” the judge said.
The rule would have banned sales of sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces by restaurants, movie theaters, pushcarts and sports arenas. (read the whole article here)
Personally, I find it curious that, if Bloomberg wanted to limit the intake of sugary drinks, there was no exemption for sugar-free drinks.
Or that anyone who sustains a head injury while riding a bike or motorcycle without wearing a helmet should be denied ER care and can't make an insurance claim. Ditto for drivers injured in an accident because they weren't wearing a seatbelt. Maybe every hospital should add a stupidity or irresponsibility index to its intake triage.
I think if someone is able to pay for the treatment, or has a third party willing to do so, he should be treated regardless of how stupid he was to get into the accident. Now maybe insurance companies will want to put a clause in declaring no helmet/no seatbelt means you aren't covered, unless you purchase an extra rider. I could get behind giving them that option.
If you add up the taxes they pay for their cigarettes these days, I think we could probably conclude they'll have paid for their treatment several times over.
Less than 1:100 smokers get lung transplants. Probably a whole lot fewer, but I will use that as a number for arguments sake.
A packet of cigarettes has at least $3 tax on it (not to mention the employment and taxes paid to create that pack and sell it, but let's leave those aside too)
An average smoker goes through a pack a day (some more, some less but this is an estimate). This means he pays $3 x 365 a year, ie $1,095. Let's add a $5 to that for simplicity of numbers, and call it $1,100.
Now let's add in the other 100 smokers taxes, bringing it to $110,000. This is the annual (vastly underestimated) tax paid in one year by the group.
This means that, according to your estimate of $550,000 for the transplant, every 5 years, the group can afford a transplant.
As a smoker will on average have a 20 year smoking experience, there is now $1,650,000 left from the 20 years taxes to cover other smoking related illnesses for our group of 100 smokers.
If you want to deny smokers medical care (and remember, my study group assumes none of them have medical insurance, which is highly unlikely) then I think you would have to scrap the taxes on cigarettes, or at the very least, explain them.
People love to vilify smokers, because they are seen as fair game because smoking has been labeled as "bad". And there are lots of antisocial elements to smoking, I agree. But financially, smokers are net contributors.
Perhaps one of the best uses of sin taxes is to create a fund for the treatment of those who eventually succumb to the resulting diseases. That could even go for gambling addicts (those who gamble in legal settings anyway).
This leaves the question of those addicted to street drugs.
Anyway, all of the crime committed by street drugs demonstrates a fact about addiction: penalties and taxes aren't much of a deterrent.
It's just economic mathematics. Smokers live shorter lives, according to an abundance of statistics. You have to consider the decrease in the drain on pensions, state assistance for poorer people and institutionalised care for the elderly, too.
if smoking wasn't such a big 'earner' for the authorities, a lot more effort would have been put in to stamp it out.
In 2013, states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements, but states are spending less than 2% of the $25.7 billion on tobacco control programs.
But that would equally be infringement of freedom of choice. Unless you can prove that anyone drinking a 16oz drink is affecting others around them in an unhealthy manner, you can't really just make it illegal for anyone to have access to medical treatment as a means to stop them from making the choice of drinking large sugary drinks.
I think the best way to do go about this, as usual with most things, bring abut awareness of the situation. At the end of the day all you can do is show someone the door, they have to walk through it by themselves. If an obese person is clogging his/her arteries with junk, it doesn't affect me any way, so its his/her problem if he/she has heart diseases and coronary problems. Don't stop me from getting my drink, not that I would ever drink a 32oz soda drink anyways, but its still my right.
"freedom of choice"
That's not a legislated freedom to my knowledge.
"bring abut awareness"
Last time that worked well was never.
"it doesn't affect me any way"
Until you pay the taxes which go towards health care for these people.
Actually it comes from the 1st Amendment and it falls under Freedom of Speech. Freedom of speech is another term for Freedom of expression, which categorically falls under freedom to chose.. You can't have expression without choices.
The US Supreme Court says:
"Freedom of expression... is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our history, political and legal" (Palko v. Connecticut (1937) 302 U.S. 319, 326-27.)
Bring awareness to causes actually does work. It may take time, but it does. Nobody expects a change good or bad to happen immediately.
Actually it doesn't affect me directly. I am not the one losing the heart. However yes part of my taxes does go towards healthcare for those who can't afford it. But that will never change the fact that no matter what law you put in place, there will be people not following it, and resulting in the same status quo as we have now. Our taxes will go towards other's healthcare one way or another. Therefore implementing frivolous laws which only limit people's right have no real use or meaning in society
By that logic, drugs would be legal and you could get drunk in the back seat of a car in the US.
yet drug uses and DWI incidents are prevalent in our society. So much for the legislative enforcement for prevention
Yet drug use is still prohibited, despite your logic, and none has yet to be killed by someone not driving, no matter their intoxication level.
As to the other arguments you raised:
"Bring awareness to causes actually does work."
"Actually it doesn't affect me directly."
Then you do not pay taxes. Taxes affect you directly, and the level of taxation is dictated by health care spending to a large degree (around 1/3).
"part of my taxes does go towards healthcare for those [who are obese due to drinking sugared sodas]"
"no matter what law you put in place, there will be people not following it"
Then why bother with laws in the first place, by following that train of thought.
"Therefore implementing frivolous laws which only limit people's right have no real use or meaning in society"
Such as limits to when you may buy and consume alcohol, the legality of selling sexual favors, positive discrimination, gun control, and lots of other laws that inhibit freedom.