Senate health plan would cost County millions of dollars
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn today criticized the U.S. Senate Health Care overhaul bill for increasing the cost of health care for King County government and its employees. Dunn said that a tax on what President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate refer to as “Cadillac” health plans is actually a tax on local government.
“There is no question that King County’s health plans are extremely generous but taxing a local government who is being generous to its employees seems a bit ridiculous,” said Dunn.
The U.S. Senate Health Care plan would tax insurance companies for plans that cost more than $8,500 per person or $23,000 per family. Many of King County’s medical benefit plans would be subject to the tax. Insurance companies would likely pass the tax on to their consumers. This could potentially cost King County tens of millions of dollars at a time when the county is facing a major budget crisis.
“Insurance companies will undoubtedly pass this tax onto consumers who subscribe to their plans.” Dunn said. “King County and its employees are in the cross-hairs of health care reform in the U.S. Congress.”
President Obama recently weighed in on the controversy by supporting the “Cadillac” tax and urged the U.S. House to concede to the U.S. Senate on this point. In an interview on National Public Radio, the President said:
“I'm on record as saying that taxing Cadillac plans that don't make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they're paying more for insurance than they need to, that's actually a good idea, and that helps bend the cost curve. That helps to reduce the cost of health care over the long term. I think that's a smart thing to do.”
“The Senate’s action reinforces my view on two things,” said Dunn. “First, the U.S. Senate health care plan will hurt local governments across the state by taxing them. Second, that King County benefits are too generous.”
For more information on the quote from President Obama click here