DEM'S HEALTH PLAN CALLS FOR HIGHER CIG TAX
February 15, 2007
Cigarette taxes in Indiana would go up at least 29.5 cents under a Democratic plan to provide health care coverage for Hoosiers without health insurance, says the Indianapolis Star.
Under Rep. Charlie Brown's (D-Gary) plan, in addition to the cigarette tax, people would be invited into the state's health insurance plan which currently covers the state's approximately 31,800 employees. Brown says his plan is meant to largely focus on children. It stipulates:
- Local governments, public schools and libraries who provide health insurance would be required to join the state's health insurance plan; companies with 50 or fewer employees also could join the state's health insurance plan.
- Tax credits would be included for businesses that provide wellness programs for their employees and allows children up to age 24 to remain on their parents' health insurance plan regardless of whether they are a full-time student.
In the meantime, another health plan is also being put together, says Schneider. Gov. Mitch Daniels is preparing a proposal very different than Rep. Browns.
- Daniels has proposed raising Indiana's 55.5-cents per pack cigarette tax by at least 25 cents in order to pay for anti-smoking programs, immunizations for children and a health insurance program for people who are uninsured for at least six months and whose incomes fall at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
- The program would be managed by a private insurance company and would include health savings accounts which people could tap into for other needs at the end of the year -- if any money is left over -- and they had taken advantage of the $500 worth of preventive care the plan would offer.
Source: Mary Beth Schneider, "Dem's health plan calls for higher cig tax," Indianapolis Star, February 13, 2007.
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