Asst Majority Leader Kevin Van Winkle

Van Winkle

For the past several months, Coloradans have focused on keeping their jobs, their homes, and their health care in the midst of the pandemic mayhem. But thanks to ruling Democrats in the Colorado House and Senate, one group stands to prosper from the mayhem — those in our country illegally.

Next year, the average taxpayer in Colorado will fund cash payouts to illegal immigrants via the tax increase contained in House Bill 1420, and also pay for private insurance for those here illegally via Senate Bill 215.

Here’s how the Democrats managed to pull it off.

Under this year’s Senate Bill 215, a new fee will be attached to every health care premium paid in the state. This fee (and many would argue that it’s a tax; a debate to be taken up elsewhere) will be collected from insurance carriers by a newly created government program known as an “enterprise.” This ‘Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise’ will begin by imposing an additional 2.1% fee on every health insurance premium sold in the state (the new fee is 1.15% if you happen to use Kaiser Permanente or a similar “nonprofit” carrier).

Because the fee is charged to insurance companies rather than individuals, it might not show up directly on your insurance bill — but it’s unlikely these companies will simply absorb the new per customer cost rather than pass it on.

With insurance premiums for a family costing about $20,000 per year (employers typically pay two-thirds or more of the cost), that 2.1% charge will run to a little over $400 per policy.

If projections are correct, the new enterprise will collect from Coloradans well over $1 billion in its first 5 years of operation (over half that total comes from your federal taxes, Colorado premium payers fund the rest).

What will the enterprise do with the money? Purchase health insurance for other people living in Colorado. Under the terms of Senate Bill 215, among other things a “qualified individual” can have household income up to $78,600 (for a family of 4) “regardless of immigration status.”

Because the bill specifically excludes from eligibility people receiving other government sponsored health programs (and only citizens can receive those), it is clear that Democrats intend to make illegal immigrants the prime beneficiaries of the new enterprise.

Senate Bill 215 might help a few American citizens, but why did Democrats write it to ensure those here illegally would be the greatest beneficiaries — especially when those eligible can earn so much above the average household income?

But there’s more.

House Bill 1420 got the short shrift in the way of a public hearing and testimony, making it difficult for Coloradans to have a voice in the process.

We were told the bill was for “education” even while ruling Dems focused their cuts largely on K-12 schools instead of the long list of bloated programs that could have been cut.

The bill raises taxes on businesses by undoing the benefits of the bipartisan CARES Act.

Think about that: the CARES Act was signed by the president this past March after winning approval in the U.S. House and Senate.

It expanded certain tax reforms made available by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and gained wide support, even from Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer. Even those radicals appreciated the need to provide incentives and tax relief to individuals and businesses in the midst of an economic crisis.

But not Democrats in Colorado. In 1420, they stripped away many of these benefits so that Colorado citizens and businesses will be forced to pay more in state income tax.

But the bill does something else, something insidious and not much publicized. The bill will hand over nearly $150 million in refundable tax credits. Those households eligible for the ‘Earned Income Tax Credit’ typically earn up to $50,000.

Although the federal CARES Act and federal law do not permit the credit to be paid to those in the country illegally, House Bill 1420 specifically directs the state refunds (which are made 50% larger by the tax increases in 1420) to those “without a valid Social Security number”.

Those in the country illegally cannot legally work or obtain a Social Security number, but Democrats are willing to pay them over our schools by jiggering the tax code. Think about that.

House Democrats are raising taxes on Colorado businesses in the midst of layoffs and furloughs so they may give an even larger amount of money to those working without valid Social Security cards — that is, people in the country illegally.

Our nation is made stronger by a sensible and legal immigration policy. Hundreds of thousands of people a year come to America legally.

But Colorado Democrats show their contempt for the law and disregard for hardworking taxpayers by continually discovering creative ways to confiscate your money and to give it to their allies.

As a result, you are poorer. Your children are poorer. Our economy is weaker. But all is not lost: Democrats get to claim ‘compassion’ — even as you happen to be paying for it. Democrats “care” all right, they just don’t care about you.

Kevin Van Winkle is the assistant majority leader of the Colorado House of Representatives from the 43rd District, which encompasses Highlands Ranch.

Kevin Van Winkle is the Asst Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives from the 43rd District, which encompasses Highlands Ranch.

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