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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ST. PAUL, MN — Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R-Nisswa) 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.

“This fall, Democrats and Governor Walz spent time traveling the state, promising Minnesotans that they would lower the costs of health care,” said Rep. Heintzeman. “Instead, they are proposing to raise health care taxes to the tune of $600 million per year. I am hopeful that with a $1.5 billion budget surplus we will bring desperately needed tax relief to Minnesotans instead of raising the costs of health care.”

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.