McKeon Jousts with GOP over Health Benefits Bill: ‘We Need to Find $70 Million’

Assemblyman McKeon

After some vigorous debate and push back from key Republicans, the Assembly this afternoon affirmed A-4389, which would require entities authorized to issue health benefits plans to pay annual assessments based on net written premiums.

The bill requires entities to annually file with the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance their net written premiums for the preceding year, no later than April 1 of each year. The bill requires the commissioner to calculate and issue to the entity a certified assessment that is 2.5% of the entity’s net written premiums.  Entities subject to the assessment include various organizations that are authorized to issue health and dental benefits plans in this State.

The bill passed by a vote of 43-30.

“It’s the middle class that will take the biggest hit,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-21).

Assemblywoman Munoz
Assemblywoman Munoz

“A new $300 million tax in the middle of a pandemic is simply ludicrous,” said Assemblyman Chris DePhillips (R-40).

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27) sponsored the bill and countered his critics on the other side of the aisle.

“I can’t let the record to go on as it stands by my esteemeed colleagues,” said McKeon. “Winter is coming. We need to find $70 million. Where is that money coming from? We have a convenient place to find it. The Trump Administration did anything they could to kill the Affordable Care. The two and a half percent paid by insurance companies went into the black hole. The [big] insurance companies have been paying that tax for a number of years; this is taking that sum and instead of allowing it to be sunseted, allowing it to come to our state.. to that individual market to benefit thosse making from $104K to $74K. …Eight out of ten individuals will be positively impacted.”

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