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RELEASE: Rep. Daniels Urges DFL Majority, Governor Walz: Don’t Raise Our Health Care Costs

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ST. PAUL, MN — Rep. Brian Daniels (R-Faribault) joined fellow Minnesota House Republicans at a press conference Tuesday 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.

“The last time Democrats were in charge of health policy in this state, thousands of Minnesotans not only lost their doctor and their local hospital or clinic they saw their health care premiums sky rocket due to the failures of MNsure,” said Rep. Daniels. “Now, Democrats want to raise health care taxes that all Minnesotans pay to the tune of $600 million a year even though the state has a $1.5 billion budget surplus. This is irresponsible and unfair to the millions of Minnesotans that will visit a doctor this year.”

The 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 HHS Finance Chair Tina Liebling said it was "essential" to restore the tax or replace its revenue.