Weeks after the idea was first discussed at a Capitol news conference, State Rep. Harry Readshaw said he is surprised that more attention hasn't been paid to a proposal to use revenue from a six percent tax on political advertising to significantly bolster funding for Pennsylvania's adultBasic health insurance program.
At the March 11 news conference, Rep. Readshaw joined the bill's prime sponsor, Rep. Tony Deluca, and spoke in favor of the measure (H.B. 642). Estimates are that over the next two years, the levy on political ads could bring in as much as $100 million that could be applied to adultBasic, which provides health insurance for qualified uninsured adults from age 19 to 64.
The current adultBasic enrollment is close to 45,000, however, more than 187,000 Pennsylvanians remain on the waiting list.
“Overall, the impact of a six percent tax on political ads would have little impact on a campaign's treasury, but the estimated $100 million the tax on ads could produce in revenue for adultBasic is a big chunk of change that could help a lot of working people who can't afford health insurance,” Mr. Readshaw said.
He added that in fact that the tax would only affect political campaigns should make it popular eith the public.
“But, since the news conference, the idea hasn't generated much attention at all,” he said. “It doesn't seen to be on anyone's radar screen. I think we have to change that.”
The bill is in the House finance Committee for consideration.
Rep Readshaw said he plans to promote the proposal in hopes of getting some momentum to move it out of committee and to a vote on the House floor.