UPDATE: Acosta rolls out bill to reduce cost of healthcare

By Gina Ender

Last update: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Assemblyman Dante Acosta introduced a bill on Thursday that aims to lower the cost of healthcare for Californians.

Assembly Bill 782, named the Healthcare Insurance Fairness Act, will eliminate the current deduction minimum of 7.5 percent and allow all taxpayers, not just business owners, to deduct 100 percent of their medical expenses in California. The state bill won’t affect federal taxes.

“At the end of the day, this is about fairness and equality,” Acosta said in a statement to The Signal. “Businesses that pay for insurance get to write those costs off. Why should families and individuals not have the same right?”

Acosta said the majority of people believe healthcare is a right, but it is taxed as if it is a luxury. He said this bill will reinforce that healthcare should be treated as a necessity.

“Thankfully, no matter what happens in Washington, this bill helps create some stability and helps make healthcare more affordable for every person, regardless of their situation,” he said.

The bill will make medical insurance more affordable by using pre-tax dollars for those buying their insurance from Covered California or a privately purchased health insurance plan that meets the federal minimum.

“This legislation is meant to help balance healthcare costs as well as level the playing field for those who do not receive employer-based health insurance,” Acosta said in a statement. “California families know the incredible challenge of balancing rising healthcare costs with their other expenses.”

Currently, the bill has been coauthored by only Republicans, which include Senators Joel Anderson and Andy Vidak and Assembly members Rocky Chavez, Randy Voepel, Marie Waldron, James Gallagher and Jordan Cunningham.

According to Acosta’s team, the bill has been offered for co-authorship in every office.

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UPDATE: Acosta rolls out bill to reduce cost of healthcare

Dante Acosta. Dan Watson/The Signal

Assemblyman Dante Acosta introduced a bill on Thursday that aims to lower the cost of healthcare for Californians.

Assembly Bill 782, named the Healthcare Insurance Fairness Act, will eliminate the current deduction minimum of 7.5 percent and allow all taxpayers, not just business owners, to deduct 100 percent of their medical expenses in California. The state bill won’t affect federal taxes.

“At the end of the day, this is about fairness and equality,” Acosta said in a statement to The Signal. “Businesses that pay for insurance get to write those costs off. Why should families and individuals not have the same right?”

Acosta said the majority of people believe healthcare is a right, but it is taxed as if it is a luxury. He said this bill will reinforce that healthcare should be treated as a necessity.

“Thankfully, no matter what happens in Washington, this bill helps create some stability and helps make healthcare more affordable for every person, regardless of their situation,” he said.

The bill will make medical insurance more affordable by using pre-tax dollars for those buying their insurance from Covered California or a privately purchased health insurance plan that meets the federal minimum.

“This legislation is meant to help balance healthcare costs as well as level the playing field for those who do not receive employer-based health insurance,” Acosta said in a statement. “California families know the incredible challenge of balancing rising healthcare costs with their other expenses.”

Currently, the bill has been coauthored by only Republicans, which include Senators Joel Anderson and Andy Vidak and Assembly members Rocky Chavez, Randy Voepel, Marie Waldron, James Gallagher and Jordan Cunningham.

According to Acosta’s team, the bill has been offered for co-authorship in every office.

About the author

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.

  • Gary Bierend

    I think this is a great idea. Sadly, the majority we have in Sacramento will probably not agree.

    • Ron Bischof

      That’s because it wouldn’t make “the rich pay their fair share” (raise taxes on everyone), Gary.

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.