More than 20 organizations sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote “no” on a new health insurance tax proposal that would harm local businesses and working-class families
Hartford, CT – As the General Assembly nears the end of its 2021 Legislative Session, over 20 leading employer organizations and associations sent a letter urging lawmakers to abandon the health insurance tax (HIT) proposal in SB 842 and HB 6447. If passed, this new tax will cause a significant financial strain on middle-class families, workers, and local businesses who purchase their coverage on the fully insured marketplace. In addition, it could create economic uncertainty for businesses in the state and put Connecticut at a competitive disadvantage.
“Functionally, this HIT tax will stunt hiring and economic recovery for Connecticut after the devastating coronavirus pandemic, when we need growth more than ever,” the organizations wrote in the joint letter. “By making health insurance less affordable in our state, the HIT tax will also put Connecticut at a competitive disadvantage regionally, especially for local businesses whose operations cross borders into Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. The tax could force local businesses to stop providing health insurance coverage, or even drive businesses out of Connecticut to states without this HIT tax. None of these outcomes are in the best interest of our state.”
That sentiment was echoed by local business Marc Nemeth of Jonal Laboratories, an aerospace company in Meriden. “Healthcare costs have been rising faster than almost any other cost associated with overhead items for manufacturers, and most of those increases comes from the underlying costs to provide needed services,” said Marc Nemeth, President of Jonal Labs in Meriden. “The proposed new health insurance tax is directed to and would negatively impact those providing insurance, and it would further inhibit our ability to be competitive. Any time we can avoid artificially increasing these costs, we should do it.”
The coalition also pointed out that the state is projected to enjoy a $1.6 billion budget surplus and is receiving $10 billion in federal stimulus money, including $85 million, which will help fund expanded healthcare subsidies on the exchange.
“At a time when our state is enjoying its largest rainy-day fund in history, and tax revenues continue to exceed revenues to the benefit of our state budget, a new tax on health insurance is both unnecessary and irresponsible,” said Chris DePentima, president & CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. “Instead of adding on more taxes, lawmakers should instead look towards policies that will help local businesses thrive. If we don’t, Connecticut will continue to rank among the bottom of the nation in recovering from our country’s last recession, and we will lose any chance we have to come out of this current pandemic ready to grow and create jobs.”
The letter comes on the heels of opinion pieces in both the Hartford Courant and Hearst Connecticut Media Group newspapers urging both the Governor and the General Assembly to abandon harmful tax proposals that would hurt the state’s ability to compete.
The Stop The HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who worked to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.stopthehit.com/connecticut