Reid 2.0: Even Higher Premium Taxes

Edmund Haislmaier /

As part of Senator Harry Reid’s indefatigable effort to make each new version of the Senate health care legislation worse than the previous one, his Manager’s Amendment restructures and expands the health insurance premium tax included in the earlier versions of the Senate bill.

The earlier versions would have imposed a flat, $6.7 billion per year, health insurance premium tax (disguised as a “fee” imposed on private health insurers), starting in 2010.

The new version uses the same mechanism, but the tax doesn’t start until 2011 and is only $2 billion that first year — but then it increases to $4 billion in 2012, $7 billion in 2013, $9 billion in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and eventually $10 billion for 2017 and every year thereafter.