But I don't want THE GOVERNMENT telling me I can't quench my thirst with carbonated sugar water!
Don't worry, you can still drink soda! Youll just have to pay a little more to do it -- as with any public health concern, it's a question of paying a little now, or paying a LOT later. Consider cigarettes: everyone could buy dirt-cheap cigs back in the day, and that led to fun stuff like lung cancer, heart attacks, and other nasty long-term diseases.
Ultimately, that means fewer available hospital beds and doctors for treatment, plus it's damn expensive to care for patients with chronic conditions. Better to make the offending product -- tobacco -- more expensive to discourage use in the first place. You can still smoke, but the immediate consequence of a lighter wallet has proven a more effective deterrent than the long-term possibility of throat cancer. With those working in tandem, smoking becomes a pretty tough habit to sell.
Same goes for sugar and the diseases it causes. Most Americans can currently enjoy soft drinks tax-free, and they're dirt cheap to buy. Fountain soda in particular costs just pennies an ounce, and a can of soda is sometimes cheaper than a bottle of water. That's insane! If you're looking for a cheap drink for the family, why wouldn't you choose soda? It's delicious! It's cheap! It could give you diabetes and cost you your lower extremities -- and a boatload in medical expenses -- if you guzzle it like water, but who cares! That's years from now.