Sinema-Supported Bill to Protect AZ Families from Spike in Health Care Costs Passes House

House passes measure introduced by Sinema, Noem to delay Health Insurance Tax (HIT), save families hundreds of dollars in increased health costs

Sinema also votes to help Arizona families cover health care costs

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) helped pass bipartisan legislation today to avoid a hike in health care costs for Arizona families. Based on a bill introduced by Sinema and Congresswoman Kristi Noem (SD-At Large), the legislation would delay implementation of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, sparing some Arizona families from a projected $500 or more annual increase in health insurance premiums. The House passed the measure as part of a package of bills called the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act.

“We must do everything we can to make health care affordable for everyday Arizonans,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “The Health Insurance Tax raises costs on Arizona businesses and families, making it more difficult to access quality, affordable health care. We’re pushing past the Washington dysfunction to stop this harmful tax, and we’ll continue working to fix our broken health care system and improve care for all Arizonans.”

The HIT is a direct tax on health insurance issuers providing coverage to individuals, seniors, families, and businesses. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this tax is passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. Small businesses, which are especially vulnerable to increased costs due to the HIT, provide jobs to over 979,000 workers in Arizona.

Congresswomen Sinema and Noem worked together to help block implementation of the HIT in 2017 and 2019. They also co-introduced H.R. 246, which would permanently repeal the HIT.

“Congresswoman Sinema has consistently worked to provide small businesses in our state with relief from the HIT tax,” said Jim Mapstead, owner and founder of Accurate Signs & Engraving, a small business in Phoenix. “She understands we need help, and we are grateful she’s working constructively to help lower small business health care costs by sponsoring legislation to delay the HIT tax.”

Sinema also voted to pass the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act. The bill allows Arizonans to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to pay for a wider range of health-related services like routine health care visits and removes restrictions on using the funds for over-the-counter medicines.