Health Care Thought of the Day

If the government can tax food because eating too much can increase health care costs, what about sex?  Sex leads to all kinds of medically expensive consequences (STDs, including AIDS; aborted pregnancies; childbirth).  Shouldn't we tax sex as well, by the same logic?


  1. Rolo Tomasi:

    Monty Python came up with that idea 30 years ago.

  2. J. Wilson:

    ...or just outlaw sex, as Orwell wrote about in 1984.

  3. Joe Teicher:

    In real life the NPV (for the government) of another person probably outweighs all that other stuff. If the government was really smart they would tax sex for people who were likely to have low-earning/high-cost children (like say teenagers and convicted felons) and subsidize sex for people who are expected to have high earning children (like married people with college degrees). Right now they just subsidize it for everybody.

  4. Methinks:

    If they were really smart, they'd close the borders to prevent people escaping.

  5. Brad Warbiany:

    In order to tax it, you have to catch it at the point of sale.

    Since it's illegal to sell directly, taxing fancy restaurants, florists, and jewelry stores should do the trick.

  6. Mr. fixit:

    They would have to tax home depot too. I usually get some every time I do something on the honey-do list.

  7. ilovebenefits:

    Nice post. This must have been conjured up by a Californian. First they are talking about legalizing marijuana, now prostitution!
    Follow the health care debate at

  8. Steve W from Ford:

    It can hardly be disputed that one of the most pernicious activities ( from a cost of subsequent health care point of view) is sodomy. The subset of sodomy with multiple anonymous partners is the costliest tip of this particular spear ( so to speak) and should, of course, in a rational plan, carry the hardest burden.
    In order to adequately tax this voluntary, yet destructive, activity the government must be aware of it's occurrence. I would imagine that the current administration might have overlooked this source of tax revenue and so has no provision for the "Sodom Service", as it might be called. Hopefully a more enlightened future conservative administration will correct this and other obvious defects to Mr Obama's plan. For the sake of the children, of course.

  9. Jason:

    I've noted this idea in the past. Isn't it funny how if they want to tax unpopular activities (for the greater good of course) but they wont touch activities from politically connected groups that will cause trouble if they try.

    I think there would be something to the idea of taxing, abortions, condoms and other associated items.

    At least by the logic of the health regulation crowd at any rate.

  10. Meredith Wright:

    I'll bet they could raise a bit of cash just by taxing the congress critters who are having sex with people to whom they aren't married ...

  11. RASCO:

    Since sex between husband and wife is considered to have beneficial effects, if the husband or wife limits it or refuses they must be taxed as well.

  12. HS:

    How does the government reduce consumption of a certain commodity such as gasoline? Taxes.

    Not only does the US spend way too much on health services, there are tax incentives (tax deductions) for health services which increase demand. There is also the lumping of health maintenance and catastrophic events such as weight management vs a car accident. The demand is so out of control, one day, there may not be enough productivity to pay for it. To reduce the price, we need to reduce demand. Taxes on all health services, in my opinion, has a good chance of reducing its demand. The taxes can then be used to pay for life and death situations in hospitals.

    It may not be an ideological solution, but sometimes it has to be pragmatic.

  13. Michael:

    Or HS, you could expose the consumer directly to the cost. Same result.

  14. Anon:

    health care TROJAN horse, indeed!

  15. Michael:

    We all need a MENTOR.

  16. Rick C:

    "Since sex between husband and wife is considered to have beneficial effects, if the husband or wife limits it or refuses they must be taxed as well."

    Well, they're already paying farmers not to grow corn...

  17. spiro:

    Didn't the New York governor impose a sin tax on porn? Maybe he was on to something, but to those of us with functional eyes, it sure looks discriminatory......

  18. cilla mitchell:

    Will there be a laundry list of write offs? For instance, if you climax more than a couple of times in one session, do you pay an increase or get a discount? Does a woman get a discount for swallowing or does she pay extra for utilizing natural resources?

  19. Jeff:

    Congress would of course exempt themselves from a sex tax.

    Otherwise they'd find it to expensive to keep screwing the public.

  20. Mesa Econoguy:

    So, a sex tax could theoretically work, but it would likely lead to population reduction (reproduction becoming more expensive than it already is). It would also be a strange audit item.

    This isn't as far out there as you may think. In Latvia, they’re apparently willing to write a loan against your soul:

    Would you pledge your soul as loan collateral?

    I am unfamiliar with the collateral pledge, as well as collection process here.

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