A small few have criticized my decision to vote against raising the Health Insuring Corporation (HIC) tax. Here is the backstory. The federal government decided to control and usurp states’ rights once again by determining that Ohio could no longer have a Medicaid Care Organization (MCO) tax. This MCO tax began when Obamacare and Medicaid expansion were put in place some seven years ago. Many in government have gotten used to using this MCO tax to fund local programs.
I ask the citizens of my district the following question: We do not tax food, because we consider food an essential part of life that should not be taxed. Should there be a tax on Ohioans’ health care plans? I do not think government should have their hands in our back pockets when it comes to food or health care. Aren’t we taxed enough? I think so.
This HIC “rate increase” or “tax,” which I just voted against, would put a tax on people’s health care plans. I am strongly against the entire Obamacare program, and I am against socialized medicine of any kind. I do not think the federal government should be involved in health care. Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in Ohio need to be repealed and run by the states, if they wish to have it. I ran on this issue, and I have been consistent in my viewpoint on this matter.
Since, I did not want a tax increase, which would mean more health care costs for Ohioans, I voted no. Some argue this is not a tax increase or rate increase, but one only needs to look at the voting board on the House Floor when we voted to get the answer. It clearly stated in big letters “HIC franchise rate increase.”
Even the non-partisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) projects this tax increase will raise Ohioans’ taxes by approximately $854 million. This provision is also going to tax private health insurance plans with a similar tax at a different rate than the Medicaid plans. This tax will directly affect individuals and businesses with private insurance plans, since the government is taxing insurance plans and not the insurance companies.
I know this is a technical issue, but you all voted for me to represent you. My job is to read and vote on bills and protect your paycheck. All I am doing is keeping my promise to you.
Any fee increase in the plan gets passed along to the Ohio taxpayer, thus making government bigger and our tax liability bigger. To be clear, $854 million bigger. This is how much of Obamacare is set up: to fleece us, the taxpayers.
Lastly, many organizations agreed with me, and had the following to say about the HIC rate increase:
The Buckeye Institute
“This is a tax increase no matter how you choose to look at it, and government should never have relied on this money to fund local services.”
Americans for Tax Reform
1. Ohioans have been hit with more than 20 federal Obamacare tax increases over the last eight years.
2. Higher taxes make states less competitive and harm economic growth
OH Association of Health Care Plans:
“This is a tax increase that will be borne, not by the health insurance industry, BUT by Ohio’s purchasers of health care coverage – including individuals, families, and small businesses in your districts.”
I agree that we have to find better and more consistent ways to fund local government, and the state needs to stop cutting money in this area. However, taxing people’s health care plans is not the right solution.
For further questions or comments, Representative Vitale can be reached at 614-466-1506 or vial email Rep85@ohiohouse.gov.
State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) represents the 85th district.