Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02, H.R.5568) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL, S.2846) have introduced the CARE of Moms act. This is legislation aimed at developing programs to prevent complications and fatalities suffered by women during and after pregnancy. This is legislation that has been proposed in the past, but just as in past, the funding mechanism involves a massive increase to the federal tax code on tobacco products.
The bill proposes excise taxes and establishing excise tax equity among all tobacco product tax rates. This affects different tobacco products in different ways, but the one of most interest to our readers would be language removing the 52.75% tax cap on large cigars and replacing it with a $49.56 per pound rate.
“Routinely, the Illinois Congressional delegation with Rep. Kelly in the House and Senator Durbin in the Senate keep inserting these outlandish tax measures in a variety of pieces of legislation. At the end of the day, this tobacco tax equity bill hikes all tobacco product taxes and puts premium cigars and pipe tobacco at the same rate. We fundamentally oppose any of these attempts,” says Premium Cigar Association’s executive director Scott Pearce, in a statement by the PCA.
“This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Maternal health is an important issue that needs to be addressed, but this bill, like the other iterations of the legislation, punitively targets retailers, manufacturers, and consumers of tobacco products, including premium cigars,” says Joshua Habursky, deputy executive director and head of Government Affairs at the Premium Cigar Association.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the past – as recently as 2021, but had failed to advance
“I’m introducing the CARE For Moms Act because moms deserve better, Black moms deserve better,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “When we take care of moms and prioritize prenatal and postpartum care, we can help entire families flourish. The reality is that too many moms, and particularly Black moms, are losing their lives. That’s why I’m pushing for change, supporting providers, and providing resources like mobile units and doulas. My goal is clear: to ensure that every mother has access to the care, empowerment, and resources necessary to be the best moms they can be.”
“In the U.S., Black women are three times more likely die as a result of their pregnancy than White women. It is unacceptable that in this country we are losing mothers and their babies to deaths that could have been prevented with the right interventions and health care,” added Senator Durbin. “We must act to address this national tragedy. I’m joining Rep. Kelly to introduce the CARE for Moms Act to provide more comprehensive and culturally competent maternal and postpartum health care for mothers, especially women of color, and their babies.”
Details of the bill can be found –> here.
The PCA has issued a call to action to oppose this legislation –> here
Photo Credit: U.S. Capitol Facebook Page
Originally posted on September 21, 2023 @ 11:17 am