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Health Matters Shocker: Finchem Expresses Controversial Opinion!

So as with last year, the Clinton Foundation's "Health Matters" conference at La Quinta Resort was filled with lots of interesting and inspirational messages about health and fitness. This year's edition seemed a bit wonkier and probably played that way on the live stream if you were so bold as to watch. The crowd seemed less eclectic and a tad more corporate. Several panels seemed aimed a bit more at the corporate and community sector just as Clinton had suggested he was hoping would happen after everyone took their marching orders in 2012.

Golf was well represented again even though Annika Sorenstam and Notah Begay were quite inspirational last year. However, with one Humana Challenge (aka the Bob Hope Classic) under their belts, Clinton and Commissioner Tim Finchem seemed more at ease in discussing the tournament's role in elevation discussion of health matters. Gary Player was a tremendous natural fit for the Clinton message of preventative behavior to help improve American health and reduce health care costs. Still, it would be nice to see one or two active players make the effort to appear.

However, the stunning takeaway of the day came during the panel session including Commissioner Finchem. After his introductory remarks spiced up with all the usual jargon (activate definitely word du jour), the Commish had nothing to say until the topic of taxing certain bad behavior-related products was mentioned by panel moderator Chelsea Clinton.

As I Tweeted once I'd gotten up from my seat and cleaned up the mess of papers that went flying after I fell over, Commissioner Controversy not only said he would support "heavy taxation" on tobacco products, but that he'd support an "all out ban."

Yes, the same man who resisted drug testing on the PGA Tour, would ban smoking in the United States if he had his druthers!  Of course, he'll be tickled pink to know I wholeheartedly support his stance. Call any time Tim. Don't be a stranger. I'm here for you, brother.

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Reader Comments (13)

Who needs cigarettes you can't advertises them on tv so they are Tim's enemy. How about a big tax on ED Rx, Tim?
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
Oh yeah that greedy fraud Gary Player appeared in all the print media when that tobacco company sponsored the senior tour in the late1980s.

Player told a friend of mine he would back any product if the money was enough.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
Have been saying for a while in the list if behaviors of pro golfers I don't want my (theoretical) kids to emulate, cursing is well below smoking & chewing tobacco
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterElf
It would be nice to butt Tim out.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
Easy there Timmy, someone might mistake you for being Canadian. Next thing you know he'll be pushing public health care as well!
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
This Clinton conference deals with health and fitness and is sponsored by a health care company right?

How can they not have someone like Erik Compton involved given his history?

I think Humana also sponsors a walking program at events - they should use Erik to help tell their story
01.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbayhill bogey
It's not surprising that a proposal so inimical to individual rights would be bandied about at a "conference" sponsored by the Clintons.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChema
what about cigars?? ban them too. smoking in public places is fine to put a ban on, but if we're taxing smokers we should be taxing and raising premiums on people that are obese.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Was Barbra Streisand at the tournament? Did she step foot out on the golf course? Interesting spectacle if she did...wonder what she made of the PGA Tour.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
Let's hope some of Timmy's boys that love to live the good life and smoke cigars don't read this. Would hate to see DLIII turn against his boy.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
In NYC taxes alone on a single pack of cigarettes are $5.85, and the overall price is about $13. Many bodegas now sell cigarrettes 1 or 2 at a time for a buck apiece. Bloomberg is responsible for much of the price increase and it has resulted in some pretty dramatic drops in smoking rates amongst various groups of people.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Easy there Brad we do't want him, we get enough of that gobbled y gook from our politicians. Some of them even better than he is in "what did he say" department
01.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morris
You know what would be great....someone taxing Timmy whenever he starts to speak for all us dummies whom he regards as chattle-like weevils stealing his grain.

Tax it all you want I say...just dont think you have the right to ban something you dont agree with. It is a very slippery slope once you get on it...look and see what its done to Canada
01.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz

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