$433 million health care tax passes House

Predatory tax increase on health care will cause many working Oregonians to lose coverage
By Oregon House Republican Office,

SALEM””House Republicans today unsuccessfully opposed a $433 million tax increase that will raise the costs of health care, expand bureaucracy and cause more Oregonians to lose their health insurance coverage. The plan includes a new tax on health insurance premiums paid by small- and medium-sized businesses that are already struggling to maintain and provide coverage for their employees. “The Democrats’ predatory tax increase will hurt small businesses and many Oregonians who depend on their jobs for health insurance coverage,” said Rep. Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass), Vice Chair of the House Health Care Committee. “By passing the tax increase directly to small businesses, the plan threatens Oregonians who are most likely to lose their coverage because of the rising costs of insurance.”
As a small business owner, House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) said the Democrats’ plan will force many employers to make a painful choice.

“Legislators who’ve never owned a business would never understand this, but it’s pretty simple,” Rep. Hanna said. “If faced with increased health insurance costs, like my business has, a business will be forced to do one of two things: drop health insurance coverage for employees or layoff employees to maintain coverage.”

Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) said that much of the revenue from the tax increase will be used to fund expanded or entirely new government bureaucracy. In fact, the plan creates 13 new bureaucracies to administer dozens of new and existing programs.

“This plan sets Oregon down the path of socialized medicine,” said Rep. Thompson, a House Health Care Committee member. “Rather than reducing health care costs, the plan takes more money from Oregonians and sticks government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.”

Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) said the plan will create a massive new bureaucracy that will regulate private businesses at the same time it is developing and marketing its own insurance products. This will create a “stacked deck” that will force more private insurers out of Oregon and force more Oregonians to become clients of government-run health insurance.

“This plan will cost too much, will drive private insurers out of the market and will leave Oregonians with an unwanted, unsustainable and ill-conceived government-run health care system,” said Rep. Richardson, a member of the Joint Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee.

Republicans sought to give Oregonians a voice on the plan by referring it to voters, yet majority Democrats rejected the motion on a partisan vote. Democrats also rejected a motion to advance a bill allowing Oregonians to deduct their insurance premiums from their overall tax liability.

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Posted by at 03:12 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • David Appell

    This bill will also save employers money, which curiously isn’t mentioned above. A recent Families USA report, recounted by Elizabeth Hovde in last Saturday’s Oregonian, says the annual premiums for families for “uncompensated care” come to $1017/yr, and an extra $368/yr for individuals. This is how much higher their rates are because the uninsured cannot afford insurance or are not offered it. Society is paying for the uninsured one way or the other (up to a point: the uninsured receive lesser care and suffer with greater health problems as a result).

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Society is paying for the uninsured one way or the other (up to a point: the uninsured receive lesser care and suffer with greater health problems as a result).

      There is a real easy solution to that one. Go after dead beat patients the same way we go after dead beat parents. Hard to understand why the government is involved in one and not the other. Also hard to see why the solution to something we all pay for, AFDC, WIC etc., when a parent ran out on their kids was more worthy of perusing than when a patient runs out on a bill. You start garnishing a few wages out their from dead beat patients and you will see people start buying insurance real quick.

      Its simply a more direct solution, and one that results in virtually no infringement on those who are responsible and pay for their own insurance.

      Looks like win win to me.

      • David Appell

        Rupert thinks people who can’t afford medical insurance will somehow magically come up with $10 or $15K/yr to insure their families.

        But that’s a very simplistic view of the problem. Even people with medical insurance can’t pay their medical bills in the US:

        “Unpaid medical bills or, to a lesser extent, illnesses that resulted in lost jobs contributed to 62.1 percent of bankruptcies, even though most had insurance.” (Boston Globe, 6/4/09)

        “…most of those who had claimed bankruptcy because of medical expenses had health insurance, owned homes, were in their mid-40s, and had middle class incomes.” (ScientificAmerican.com, 6/5/09)

        Of course, the obvious solution is a single-payer system, which has costs that are much, much lower than the US “system” and which has better medical and health results as well.

        Spend less, better care. A no-brainer — except that the corporate class in the US won’t allow it.

        • Conscience of a Moonbat

          Notice the key words “corporate class” that identify anti-capitalist and Marxist all in one. Neatly done.

          • David Appell

            > Notice the key words “corporate class” that identify
            > anti-capitalist and Marxist all in one. Neatly done.

            Funny, since I’m one of a minority of Americans in business for themselves. One hardly needs to be a Marxist to recognize the extreme degree of influence corporations have over the American government.

  • Matt Evans

    For those who are concerned about this expansion of government into our lives – including the invasion of privacy that will result from giving the State control of medical records and end-of-life decisions – AFP-Oregon is running an Action Alert to send your Senator an email message to vote against this bad legislation. You can access this Action Alert by visiting http://www.myafpor.org/ActionAlerts.php

  • Jessie

    I can not think of anyone better to run my health care than the government because they are not wanting profits. I trust the people of Salem to do what is best for me and mine. I don’t have a lot of money for health care, so if someone else will pay for it I am happy.
    I am glad the politicians are so interested in me and my family. I always vote Democrat for that reason. They care about me and others like me who don’t have the ability to care for ourselves.
    Thanks is all I can say.
    My back hurts, my eyes need an operation so I can see without glasses, and I need some cosmetic surgery. I hope this will now all be free to me to get what I need.

  • Bob Clark

    Jessie plays a pretty funny chump. good sarcasm, though. You only have to look south to California to see the failed state path Oregon is currently on. Raising taxes on wage earners to fund more free health benefits will only speed the decay in state managed healthcare programs. For all of its history Oregon’s state healthcare program has bled dollars, and you have to win a lottery to get the care. Nothing will change in this regard as the state government will take a big bite out of any new revenues, and more people will be pushed towards the failed government healthcare plan because they can barely afford their insurance now as it is. And here’s a point missed above. Most of the insurance now offered in the state is from non-profit organizations. Sorry this fact doesn’t fit the populist paradigm.

    There might be some pleasure, though, in knowing some people will end up with what they asked for, namely, being treated in a state-run hospital for free. The pleasure comes when the treatment is administered most likely in a hospital like the one featured in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

  • anonymous

    “in a hospital like the one featured in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

    That hospital was the asylum in Salem!

    The Capital building is another Asylum. The legislators who pass Crap like this should all be treated immediately!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I am often asked at dinner parties why I am so antipathetic towards government. I usually answer its because I see government, beyond basic services such as police, roads and the like as engaged in a constant and protracted effort to hurt me, never to help me. My wife was astonished at this attitude when I first met her, but after several years of seeing what a business owner goes through, she now understands it.

    When I told her about this plan to tax health insurance she thought I was making it up. I told her no, the fact that I was responsible, the fact that I did with less so as to purchase health insurance is now being punished. As if mandates for acupuncture weren’t enough, now I will have to pay, yet again, for those who can’t get it together in life. This bill is obscene not only in its very construct, but especially in these economic times. It would be hard to think of an emotion to express towards the supporters of this measure other than absolute raw hatred of such a nature that it would be hard to contain.

    I gave up long ago wondering at what point the asking of sacrifice from the productive to support the parasitic would stop. At some point it would be nice to see those who take so much from society give something back. Now it looks like those who do nothing but take are going to take a little bit more.

    Taxes are the price we pay for society.
    Tax increases are the price we pay for the Democrats within that society.

    • come again?

      How much are they planning to tax your particular health insurance Rupert?

    • David Appell

      > Taxes are the price we pay for society.
      > Tax increases are the price we pay for the Democrats within
      > that society.

      And deficits are the taxes Republicans should be paying but find it more convenience to pass on to their children and grandchildren.

      • Anonymous

        No, David. You need to look at the science. In his first season, Obama has blown the deficit and national debt into orbit, eclipsing the accumulated deficits/borrowing of all his predecessors in the White House combined. Ever. He did this while disallowing Republican participation in the process. This is all Obama’s, all the Democrats’. Did Democrats FORMERLY complain about deficits and borrowing? Oh, but not when Obama redefines fiscal irresponsibility. Then it becomes ‘investing in the future’ and ‘stimulus.’

        • David Appell

          All President’s think they have good reasons for raising the deficit, but the underlying reason is always that that American public demands it.

          Obama has only been in office for a few months and inherited one of the greatest economic crises of the last century. Much of his spending is as a result of that. If Bush were still in office I don’t doubt he’d be doing much of the same. Bush doubled the national debt because of, he said, 9/11. Clinton brought the budget into balance for a year or so, at least. Reagan quadrupled the national debt and vastly expanded the military expenditures of the US.

          Of course, the party out of power opposes it spending because that’s all they can do. Democrats did during Bush. Republicans had little problem with Bush’s massive deficits, but now are suddenly all concerned about Obama’s deficits. All of them are hypocrites, just at different times.

          But the ultimate blame goes to the American taxpayer, of course, They keep voting in people who claim they’re going to eliminate the deficit in 8 years, or halve it in 4 years, or whatever, and of course it never comes happens and in fact it never even comes close to coming true. Americans want it all — massive military spending, health care, low taxes — and they don’t want to pay for it. Or they would vote in politicians who would run a tight ship. They never do, falling time and time again for the same old claptrap.

        • contrarian

          You need to check your math anonymous. Obama’s one year deficit is very high, but comes nowhere near to eclipsing the accumulated deficits he inherited. Its not even close. Look it up.

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