To the editor:
Independence is an important value cherished by the people of Mesa County. And as a county commissioner, it is my responsibility to preserve that value wherever I can.
A shadow is being cast over that independence by a piece of the Affordable Care Act called the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT. It is a hidden federal sales tax on health insurance plans purchased in the open marketplace by families and small businesses.
We depend on hard-working and enterprising individuals and families to keep Mesa County moving.
The HIT would unfairly tax all of these people for buying their health insurance in the marketplace while giving a free pass to much larger operations that can afford to self-insure.
Congress has already reached bipartisan agreement to suspend the tax, but that agreement runs out next year.
We need more confidence in the future than a temporary suspension. Our elected officials in Washington should step up and permanently repeal the HIT as a way to show meaningful support for our independent farmers and ranchers, small business owners and self-employed entrepreneurs.
We do not want special treatment. We just want a square deal. A permanent repeal is the only acceptable answer.
Mesa County commissioner