Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Florida’s congressional delegation Monday urging them put a hit on a federal Health Insurance Tax, or HIT.
Last year, Congress delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act tax but without additional action it will become effective Jan. 1, CFO Jimmy Patronis said. Insurance companies are expected to raise rates to cover the costs.
“Congress has delayed the 2017 HIT implementation, lowering policyholders’ premiums by three percent, and saving the health care system an estimated $13.9 billion,” Patronis wrote. “However, a delay is but a temporary reprieve. Without immediate Congressional action, the tax will go into effect January 1, 2018, with a $22 billion first-year fiscal impact. With a 10-year projected impact of $267 billion, Florida simply cannot afford inaction.”
Florida faces a $1.7 billion overall increase in 2018 health care premiums, the CFO wrote. Workers in a state health plan can expect a $188 annual increase for individual coverage, and families can expect to pay an additional $518 in 2018, he said.
Who wants the tax? Insurers and business groups have repeatedly advocated for delaying it. The progressive Century Foundation has argued for keeping it to pay for Obamacare, saying delay provides little bang for the buck in lowering insurance premiums.
But in the strange-bedfellows world of Washington, GOP Congressional leaders may find it quietly useful to make the budget math look better for other tax cuts, Bloomberg noted earlier this year.