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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Thursday, January 17, 2019


ST. PAUL, MN — State Representative Tama Theis (R-St. Cloud) is urging the new DFL House Majority and Governor Walz not to raise health care costs on Minnesotans by restoring the sick tax—a 2 percent tax levied on most patient services in Minnesota, including things like baby deliveries, chemotherapy treatments, routine doctor visits, emergency room visits, and more.


“It’s disappointing to see that Democrats want to reinstate this tax and increase health care costs,” Theis said. “Insurance rates have already been set based on the elimination of the sick tax. If this tax increase is approved, those rates are almost certain to rise.”


The sick tax, which was eliminated as part of bipartisan legislation passed by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton in 2011, is set to expire starting January 1, 2020. In total, restoring the tax would result in a more than $600 million increase on health care costs for Minnesotans next year alone.


Over the past week, Governor Walz called it a "nonstarter" to end the tax, and DFL House Health and Human Services Finance Chair Tina Liebling said it was "essential" to restore the tax or replace its revenue.


“We’re not one week into session and the new majority is already looking at raising the cost of health care,” Theis said. “Our goal is to make health care more affordable, and adding a $600 million per year tax increase would only make matters worse.”