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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Poston (R)

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ST. PAUL, MN — Rep. John Poston (R-Lake Shore) 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.

“Proposing a $600 million tax increase on health care services when the state has a $1.5 billion surplus is irresponsible and unfair to Minnesota families”,” said Rep. Poston. “We should be spending our time and resources in St. Paul looking for ways to lower the costs of health care. Simply put, a $600 million tax on health care is not going to do it.”

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.