House Dems Seek Tax Hikes To Sustain Basic Health - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

House Dems Seek Tax Hikes To Sustain Basic Health

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers in the state House are calling for tax increases to save the state's Basic Health Plan.

Basic Health offers subsidized medical insurance to about 55,000 people. It's meant to provide coverage when someone's employer doesn't offer a health plan.

The state's budget deficit means the expensive program is in line for more cuts. But if the Legislature can find a way to keep it going until 2014, the federal government will begin paying almost all of the cost.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, would generate about $157 million over two years by raising taxes on mortgage dales, plastic surgery, private airplanes and coal-fired power
plants. But passing a tax increase is basically impossible in the Legislature because Initiative 1053 requires a two-thirds majority vote.

      
      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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