Another Voice: Proposed health insurance tax is unneeded and unwise

In an Op-Ed published last week by the Buffalo News, Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. opposes a proposal in the Executive Budget which calls for a new tax on all fully insured health and dental insurance policies to help pay the cost of operating the state’s health insurance exchange.

In the Op-Ed, Briccetti writes, “New Yorkers are already reeling from new taxes imposed under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) as more than $1.7 billion was levied last year. It’s estimated that those taxes will grow and total more than $13 billion over the next 10 years. The governor’s budget would add to that burden as it calls for a new tax on all fully insured health and dental insurance policies to help fund the exchange.

“At a minimum, the tax will add $69 million in new costs to health insurance plans, a cost that will be reflected in higher premiums for customers. New Yorkers already pay some of the highest state taxes in the nation for health insurance, with more than $5 billion assessed each year.

“The governor has in the past called for funding the exchange through dedicated HCRA funding, a position that continues to make good sense based on the new revenues generated from millions of newly insured. New York can only sustain its exchange and foster economic development by better utilizing the dollars it currently raises. The state cannot and must not ask taxpayers to pay yet another new tax.”

To read the complete Op-Ed on the Buffalo News Website, please click here.