tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Brewer would end health care for thousands to trim budget

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer wants to take away state-paid health care for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans as a way of balancing the state budget.

In her State of the State speech Monday, Brewer said a 2000 voter mandate to provide free care to anyone below the federal poverty level has proved far more costly than originally thought.

“While we agree we must provide essential services for those with no place else to turn, we must only offer those benefits necessary,” she said. And that, she said, means asking voters to rescind the mandate.

That 2000 ballot measure requires the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program, to provide free care for everyone below the federal poverty level, now $18,310 for a family of three.

Prior to 2000, the cutoff was about one-third of the poverty level and enrollment was 508,917. At the start of this year, enrollment was 1,262,560.
Brewer said backers of the 2000 initiative contended the state’s cost to expand coverage would be covered by Arizona’s share of the nationwide settlement with tobacco companies. The federal government pays $2 for every dollar of state funding.
She attributed a $1 billion increase in state spending to the expanded eligibility, even though the entire state obligation is less than $1.2 billion. Brewer’s office did not respond to requests for clarification.
Brewer’s contention that voters were told the full cost of the expansion would be covered by the tobacco settlement — of which Arizona gets $3.2 billion over 25 years — is only partly true.

There were actually were two measures on the 2000 ballot. One would have limited the expansion to only the funds available, so the tobacco money would have been sufficient. The second, which became law because it got more votes, committed the state to free care for everyone below the poverty level, without regard to where the money came from.

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said those forced off the AHCCCS rolls will eventually end up in hospital emergency rooms with more serious conditions because they can’t get the routine care they now are provided. Hospitals, which can’t turn them away, will pass the cost on to other patients, meaning higher rates and higher insurance premiums, and that could cause some employers to drop coverage.

Republican legislative leaders, though, favor sending the question back to voters, asking them to scale back the plan to what it was before the 2000 election. Senate President Bob Burns, R-Peoria, said people need to take more responsibility for their own health.

And House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, said the state just doesn’t have the money to meet these kinds of expenses.
Dr. Eve Shapiro, a Tucson pediatrician who helped write the successful 2000 ballot measure, responded, “To say that we can’t afford to give people health care is counterproductive because the way to have a more economically viable work force is to have a healthy work force.”

By Howard Fischer

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