Hawaii senators scuttle HMO tax
HONOLULU — A proposed tax on Hawaii health insurance premiums has been killed.
The Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee shelved the bill Tuesday, a few days after Gov. Linda Lingle highlighted it as a measure that would have raised Hawaii’s cost of living.
The legislation would have imposed a tax on health maintenance organizations such as HMSA and Kaiser, which are currently tax exempt. The tax would have started at 2.3 percent in July and risen to 4.3 percent by 2013.
Lingle said the cost of this tax increase would have been passed on to the people of the state, taking some $472 million out of their pockets over the next five years.