Senate leaders (leaders from the Senate Finance Committee) are considering new federal taxes today -- one option, a "sin tax" on soda and other sugary drinks -- to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system. Early estimates put the cost of Obama's plan to expand healthcare coverage at around $1.2 trillion, but so far the administration has only figured out a way to pay for half the cost. From what I can make out, a sin tax is being proposed on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages. Corporate lobbyists representing Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and other companies are against this proposal and say such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption. "Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association. Critics say this proposal could spark a backlash from consumers who don't want to pay several cents more for a soft drink. -------------------- Just for fun, I clicked onto the American Beverage Association's website (whose president was concerned that additional taxes would not teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle). The ABA consists of major bottling plants for Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc. The American Beverage Association's website informs me that "All beverages provide hydration. Drinking fluids is essential." Their product, I am informed, "is needed to control body temperatures, keep skin moist and transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to our cells." Incidentally, the ABA website has a section defending high fructose corn syrup, and provides links to click on for more information about "nutrition and science" and their commitment to the environment.