House Republicans offer health care deduction plan

House Republicans offer health care deduction plan
By Oregon House Republican Office,

SALEM””Rep. Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass) and Rep. Scott Bruun (R-West Linn) today urged the House Health Care Committee to make health care more affordable by allowing individuals and families to deduct insurance premium payments from their federal taxable income. “We are offering a solution to make health insurance more available to thousands of Oregonians and their families,” said Rep. Maurer, the measure’s chief co-sponsor. “HB 3611 will expand access to care and empower more Oregonians to make their own health care decisions. Further, the bill offers relief to Oregonians who must pay the new tax on their health insurance premiums.”

HB 3611 will provide relief to the 200,000 Oregonians who purchase individual coverage plans but have seen their rates increase by 17 percent over the past year. House Republicans also say the bill will make individual coverage more affordable to uninsured Oregonians.

“This bill would go further than anything we’ve yet done in Oregon to increase coverage for health care,” said Rep. Bruun, the measure’s chief co-sponsor. “This bill would also solve the issue of portability and reduce costs by empowering Oregonians to be health care customers, not just patients.”

HB 3611 is pending further action in the House Health Care Committee. The bill is part of the House Republicans’ 2010 agenda.

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Posted by at 08:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Government at all levels seems obsessed with the mantra of making health care more affordable and increasing “access”. Given that, it always seemed a little odd, but entirely predictable, that individual coverage is taxed.

    Who knows if this bill will go anywhere. My prediction is that it is unlikely to become law. My other prediction would be that either way, we will continue to hear the ever present drone that Republicans never offer any solutions or alternatives.

    • Mary’s Opinion

      “Making health care more accessable” must be preceded by increasing the number of physicians in Oregon. Ask any new resident looking for a doctor or someone on Medicare or Medicaid if they had a problem finding a physician.

  • Steve Buckstein

    The bill actually got a surprisingly positive response from most committee members yesterday. Even Health Care Committee Chair Mitch Greenlick (D) agreed with my testimony that this is a matter of fairness.

    They have asked Legislative Revenue for more information on what the tax deduction might cost the state, and how possible caps on the deduction for both individual and employer-based premiums might make the bill revenue neutral. The bill is up for further action today at 3:30pm in Hearing Room E. Stay tuned…

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Well, I’m glad it got a good response and yes, it is a matter of basic fairness. There seems to be little logical reason for health insurance to be deducted if it is a part of compensation, but not if the individual purchases it himself. If Democrats are willing to work constructively on this I think that’s great.

      Caps on the deduction? I’m not so sure about that if the purpose is to be revenue neutral. That starts sounding real quick like it will become a scheme for lowering how much is allowed to be deducted on the employer side to increase how much can be deducted on individual coverage.

      This is one of those taxes that would be harder to argue would increase growth than say something like a capitol gains tax cut. Therefore making it revenue neutral seems a harder case to make, without eliminating a deduction somewhere else.

      To my mind the best way to lower the cost of allowing individual deduction would be to lower the cost of individual insurance. That would mean allowing purchase of cheaper insurance, say across state lines so as to avoid the ninny portion of health care costs, the mandates.

      *WARNING* – INSTANCES OF THE SPECIFIC SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN TO MEAN THE GENERAL.
      *WARNING* – USE OF THE TERM “A LOT” OR “SOME” IS NOT THE SAME AS USING “EVERY” OR “ALL”
      *WARNING* – ONE TAX CUT ENCOURAGING GROWTH LESS DOES NOT MEAN NO TAX CUT CAN ENCOURAGE GROWTH

  • Steve Plunk

    If Greenlick really believes health care is a right then how about just making all health care costs, including insurance, 100% deductible on our state tax returns? Sure it might cost the state some revenue but that shouldn’t matter if health care is a right.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      You are asking for rationality from someone who insists the irrational, health care as right, is true?

  • Jim Ray

    Be wary, very wary of Mitchell Greenlick.

  • The Watcher

    The liberals will never go for this…it helps the working class.

  • letty bromenschenkel

    Sounds like another DART thrown against the wall. Most of the 200,000 citizens have zero income
    in the first place, so exactly how does this IMPROVE THEIR LIVES ?

    All of these fire drill smoke n mirrors quick fix plans “sound so good” until you read beyond the
    fine print.

    WHO WILL individual deductions for HC Insurance really help” His BOTIQUE investors and
    the citzens with income, who can probably write a personal check for their HC needs.

    They all want to ‘slay the dragon” with perfected focus group perfected sound bites. WHERE are
    the feasibility studies?
    Then they all want promotions to a higher level of power in government and claim they can
    ‘slay the dagon’ if they had a new title behind their names.

    Why is the ONLY “solution” that Rep Bruun ever offers is a very very very narrow special
    interest tax credit, that simply bloats government control over our enterprises and out lives.

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