Employers urge lawmakers to reject governor’s proposed health care tax increase: “wrong time to make health insurance even more expensive”

The Association of Washington Business drafted and submitted a letter to state lawmakers urging them to reject Gov. Inslee’s proposed health care tax. A broad range of businesses and associations signed onto the letter which says in part,

The Governor’s plan adds taxes and increased costs at exactly the wrong time when the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted so many Washington residents who already struggle to maintain health insurance coverage while suffering from either job losses or reduced hours due to COVID. 

Now is the wrong time to make health insurance even more expensive for those employers who have been able to weather the storm and remain committed to provide access to health coverage for their employees. The Governor’s plan, as laid out in SB 5149, calls for adding more than $200 million in new taxes to the cost of coverage next year, and over $340 million in new taxes to the cost of coverage in the following two years—massive cost impacts that will hit every employer and every employee and beneficiary. 

Signing onto the letter were:

Washington Retail Association

Building Industry Association of Washington

Associated General Contractors

National Federation of Independent Business

Washington Food Industry Association

Association of Builders and Contractors

Independent Business Association of Washington

Northwest Grocery Association

Single Handed Consulting


Wagstaff Manufacturing

Northwest Marine Trade Association

The Associated Builders & Contractors (Inland Pacific Chapter)

Washington Trucking Association

Willamette Dental Group

Central Bonded Collectors

Washington Hospitality Association

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

Washington Association of Health Underwriters

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington

Associated Industries

Lemons Trucking, Inc.

Northwest Financial Association Benefits Trust

Community Bankers of Washington

More on this to come.