September 28, 2015
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress USA
Washington, DC – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have introduced legislation to repeal a discriminatory tax on union health plans. The 'Cadillac Tax' included in the Affordable Care Act, unfairly punishes union members.
The ACA imposes a 40 percent non-deductible excise tax on health plans with values exceeding $10,200 in coverage for individuals and $27,500 for families. The provision is indexed to inflation and will rise automatically over time, with the potential to eventually affect all employer-sponsored plans.
“What was true then is true now,” Sanders said. “Imposing an excise tax on health insurance plans would be a disaster for millions of middle class Americans. Some have said that this tax only falls on ‘Cadillac’ health care plans, but the reality is that the plans this bill will tax are more like Chevrolets. Workers have fought hard to negotiate decent healthcare benefits, often in exchange for lower pay. This excise tax unfairly punishes them.”
The bill would strike the excise tax while demanding that repeal be paid for.
Senator Sanders has long advocated that revenue could be raised through a surtax on the wealthiest people in this country, a provision that was included in the House version of the ACA. At the time, that provision was estimated to raise $460 billion over ten years, more than five times the amount raised by the Cadillac Tax.
Co-sponsors of the legislation include: Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
According to Sanders, “the tax not only punishes hard working Americans, it is simply bad policy. We should make sure that all Americans receive affordable, high quality health care.”