Some Bronx residents support proposed cigarette tax

SOUNDVIEW - Bronx residents expressed excitement Monday about a proposed bill that would raise the federal tax on cigarettes to help fund health insurance for children all over the country.

The proposition as it stands now would increase the federal tax from 39 cents to $1 per pack of cigarettes. The extra money, should President Barack Obama sign the bill, would extend government-sponsored health insurance coverage to some four million uninsured children.

?It definitely relieves a burden for some of our patients who make too much to claim Medicaid but still were not financially stable enough to qualify for additional insurance,? Dr. David Collymore, a Bronx pediatrician, says.

With the new tax, experts estimate the government will collect an additional $32.8 billion in four and a half years. The extra money brought in by the new tax could alleviate the financial burden for people like Luz Navarez of the Bronx, who says her granddaughter, Isis, is currently uninsured.

Despite the money that may be earned by the new tax, estimates say more than five million children will still go uninsured.

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