Senate Republicans Fight Against “Health Insurance Tax”

Kenneth P. LaValle

April 02, 2009

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that the Senate Democrats have rejected a Republican-sponsored amendment to roll back the ill-advised “Health Insurance Tax” that was approved as part of the “Deficit Reduction Package” (DRP).  The tax hike, which was passed as a result of unanimous Democrat support, will impose a $240 million increased assessment on insurance companies that will raise the cost of health insurance premiums for families, individuals, and businesses to unprecedented levels.

            The New York State Insurance Department has reported that small business health premiums have increased on average of 13.5% annually since 2000.  The Democrats’ Health Insurance Tax will increase individual and family coverage up to a much as $200 per year.  In addition to defeating this tax, the Democrats blocked the Senate Republicans’ move to do away with a number of new assessments that will increase premiums and negatively affect several local hospitals.  In total, the new insurance taxes in the budget amount to more than $800 million and will significantly increase every insurance policy written in New York State.

“This is just one more tax that will impact New Yorkers from Buffalo to Montauk,” said Senator LaValle.  “Many people are already going without health insurance because they cannot afford the premiums.  Our priority should be making health insurance more affordable, not more unattainable.”