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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Letter to the Editor: Stop taxing health care

Jun 22, 2015
In The News

Northwest Herald

To the Editor:

Sound tax policy is about more than just the government’s bottom line. It’s a tool often wielded to avert or incentivize certain behaviors (think taxing gasoline or cigarettes).

So when the Affordable Care Act became law, Washington’s justification for taxes on health insurance plans and medical devices was to … make health care more affordable?

Given tax policy’s incentivizing nature, it’s disconcerting the ACA taxes a product Americans are required to purchase.

The health insurance tax is expected to cost families an additional $360 per premium, hitting Medicaid managed care plans, Medicare Advantage and individual and employer coverage. Illinois will shoulder nearly $400 million in new premium costs through 2023.

The medical device tax has led to 14,000 job losses and prevented the creation of 19,000 new positions. Total employment impact could be up to 165,000 jobs.

A new excise tax on high-cost health plans kicks in in 2018. If they don’t change their coverage, more than 50 percent of employers will risk triggering the 40 percent tax in the next seven years.

The ACA is not living up to its promise of affordability. I have cosponsored the three bills in the House that would repeal these costly and misguided taxes and move toward a more affordable health-care system for Illinois individuals, families and businesses.

A previous Congress was so invested in encouraging people to buy health plans that it mandated insurance coverage – but then taxed it.

Let’s quit sending Americans mixed signals and stop taxing their health care.

Randy Hultgren

U.S. representative, 14th Congressional District