Thursday, September 17, 2009

Health Bill: Big Tax Hike!

New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer, the senior Republican member of the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee, expressed concern today about a recently announced proposal in the US Senate Finance Committee that could dramatically increase the premiums that New Jersey families pay for health insurance. The bill is schedule to be introduced today and marked up in the Finace Committee next week; it is sponsored by Montana Senator Max Baucus.
“According to a report published in The Hill, Olympia Snowe a United State Senator from Maine will not vote for the Baucus bill because it would impose an up to 35 percent tax on high cost health insurance plans,” Singer stated.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that Maine and New Jersey have very similar health insurance costs. If a senator from Maine won’t vote for this bill because Maine is a high cost state, this should be a no-brainer for our congressional delegation.”
A report published by the Center for American Progress projects that health care insurance premiums would exceed nontax threshold in New Jersey set by the Baucus bill within the decade. The bill being introduced in the US Senate Finace Committee today would require up to a 35 percent tax on health insurance plans that exceed the threshold.
“Health care reform is urgently needed,” Singer continued. “How we pay for reform is a significant issue for New Jersey. The plan being introduced into the Senate Finace Committee today will balance health care reform on the backs of the middle-class families in a handful of high cost states like New Jersey. It is critical that Senators Menendez and Lautenberg, and our Congressional delegation vote no on any plan that will tax insurance premiums.”

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