From this year's Washington edition:
- Number of people working in the insurance industry in Washington state: 49,445.
- Their payroll: $3.2 billion.
- Premium taxes paid: $406 million
- Premiums: About $19 billion.
Democrats, for their part, will be resistant to “technical amendment” legislation even if they support it in principle for fear that it would become a legislative vehicle where additional amendments would be grafted on with the intent of watering down the law.
The former response is expected, but the latter response deserves some fact checking.
Fair enough. Let’s talk about this shorter term perspective.
We have just learned from a very reliable source that the revenue collected so far this from health claims tax is much lower than projected -- so much lower, in fact, that the state Legislature will likely consider a proposal to raise it early next year.
For employers who ran the numbers and determined that they could absorb a one percent tax, they should get ready to do a new set of calculations, perhaps on a yearly basis going forward, should a federal appeals court not strike down the law. At some point it would seem that this health care tax could become an important factor as employers consider whether self-insurance is as cost effective as it otherwise would be,
And in case you think this issue is contained to Michigan, think again. Other cash-strapped states are watching how things play out in Michigan and at least some are likely to follow-suit if they believe such action will go unchallenged.
When a camel gets its nose under the tent the occupants should not be surprised that the damage often cannot be contained. For self-insured employers with workers in Michigan, they may soon learn this important lesson.