While it was an honor to have the president visit North Dakota to talk about tax relief, there’s a new tax coming that no one is talking about. The Health Insurance Tax — or HIT, as it’s called.

The HIT was originally part of Obamacare, but in 2015 our congressional leaders made the smart decision to put a moratorium on it for all of 2017. However, if Congress fails to act in the coming weeks, the HIT tax is set to return in 2018.

If it is reinstated, the health insurance tax will put an estimated 3 percent increase on health insurance premiums for individuals, small businesses and their employees, and seniors.

According to studies by Oliver Wyman, individual premiums would increase by $163, premiums for North Dakota families would increase by $458 and for large businesses, and premiums for family coverage will increase by almost $500. Medicare Advantage premiums for seniors are set to increase by $480 per couple.

This tax hits everyone! As a senior, I know North Dakotans can’t afford an added health care cost when they’re already feeling the squeeze. We need Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to vote to delay the HIT another year.

Marsha Lembke, Bismarck

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