House Republicans seek repeal of new state long-term care program and payroll tax


House Republicans in Olympia are calling for a repeal of the Democrats' new long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: Starting January 1st, Washington workers will pay 58 cents per 100 dollars of earnings for a maximum lifetime long-term care benefit of 36-thousand-500 dollars. If you make 50-thousand dollars a year, that's a tax of 290-dollars annually.

If you work in Washington but live out of state. . . if you are less than 10 years from retirement. . . if you move to another state and have paid the tax, you won't receive the benefit. Colfax Representative Joe Schmick says it's not fair and not wanted. . .

SCHMICK: “I think repeal would be the best thing. And when we had an advisory vote, the advisory vote had 62 percent of the public voting against this. I just don't believe that there's a lot of public support.”

Schmick, the lead Republican on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, and Centralia Representative Peter Abbarno have drafted legislation to repeal the new state program.

ABBARNO: “This is a regressive payroll tax that gives working families the illusion that their long-term care needs are satisfied. The reality is that a private investment in long-term care provides greater benefits and greater flexibility. Ultimately, this becomes an insolvent program that will lead to higher taxes and lower benefits.”

SATTGAST: Abbarno says people who purchased private coverage by November 1st could opt out. However, many were unable to secure a qualified plan by the deadline … while others may be unaware of the new program and payroll tax altogether.

Schmick and Abbarno will introduce the repeal legislation before the 2022 legislative session begins January 10th. John Sattgast, the state Capitol.

###

Washington State House Republican Communications
Broadcast Coordinator: 360.786.7257
houserepublicans.wa.gov