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Thursday, January 20, 2011

 2:02 PM 

Dems rip HSA exemption

Democrats criticized the HSA bill as another example of deficit spending in the special session, adding that it's expected to add some $48 million to the deficit to benefit a scant population of the state.

Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville and a former health care executive, said Wisconsinites who aren't already attracted to HSAs and the current federal tax break won't be convinced to acquire them for a state tax exemption.

"It just is not reality and I'm 100 percent certain of that," Cullen said.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton and the author of several potential amendments to the bill, said the notion that companies would come to Wisconsin to take advantage of the new HSA deduction "lunacy."

"This could or could not cost $48 million," Erpenbach said. "This absolutely, positively will not create one job."

Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, read testimonials from business owners in his district advocating HSAs, and said he was disappointed by the "continued disconnect" between health care costs and job creation in the chamber.

"We all understand that the cost of health care has a dramtic impact on businesses in this state," Leibham said.


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