OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICANS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2011
Contact: Nick Smith
HOUSE BILL MAKES HEALTH INSURANCE MORE AFFORDABLE
FOR OREGON FAMILIES
HB 2504 will help Oregonians Cope with Federal Health Insurance Mandate
SALEM—House Republicans today urged the House Revenue Committee to approve HB 2504 to make health insurance more affordable for Oregon individuals and families. In addition to offering relief from high health insurance premiums, the bill will also help Oregonians meet the costs of the federal government’s health insurance mandate if it survives constitutional challenges.
HB 2504 allows Oregonians and their families who purchase their own health insurance to deduct the cost from their taxable income. House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) said the bill will help more than 230,000 Oregonians who don’t receive coverage through their employer or the government.
“At a cost somewhere between $140 per month for a young healthy individual, and $1,300 per month for a family, the costs of self-coverage can be onerous,” said Speaker Hanna, the chief sponsor of the bill. “This bill is simple. It encourages individuals and families to purchase health insurance and deduct the cost of that insurance from their taxable income.”
House Republicans say tax relief is needed especially if the federal government follows through with its legislation to require all Oregonians to carry health insurance.
“The individual mandate serves as a punitive excise tax if Oregonians don’t obtain individual coverage,” said Rep. Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro), a co-sponsor of the bill. “Assuming the federal health care law is constitutional, Oregon must do something to help its citizens meet this expensive federal mandate. HB 2504 makes health insurance more affordable for Oregonians and their families, and helps them avoid the expensive penalty tax if they can’t afford to comply with ‘Obamacare.’”
HB 2504 is pending further action in the House Revenue Committee. Allowing Oregonians and their families who purchase their own health insurance to deduct the cost from their taxable income is part of the House Republicans’ 2011 Jobs and Reform Agenda.