There is a proposal to add 50 cents to the cigarette tax to help fund the DirigoChoice program. I realize that it will affect people with low incomes the most, as people, like myself, with low incomes will spend a higher percentage of their income on increases in taxes like that one. However, I support that tax increase because it will provide health care to many who can’t afford it on their own.

It is much better to have health insurance and high-priced cigarettes than to watch so many people suffer without adequate health care. Uninsured people will get more seriously ill and end up in the emergency room or being admitted to hospitals. The cost of their care is passed on to those with private insurance – a hidden and costly “tax.”

Sick people also lose time at work. Health problems are the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy.

Raising the cigarette tax has the added benefit of fewer teenagers smoking and ultimately dying of their addiction.

It just makes sense in so many ways to provide access to health care coverage to working families through Dirigo, even if it means raising the cigarette tax.

Amy Dulac, Greene

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