The U.S. House of Representatives voted 419 – 6 to pass legislation to repeal the Cadillac Tax, a 40 percent excise tax on health insurance plans impacting millions of middle-class workers, including fire fighters and emergency medical personnel. HR 748, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019, would permanently repeal the tax.
The IAFF and our allies worked tirelessly to prevent implementation on this onerous tax and educate members of Congress on how the tax would negatively impact working class Americans.
“Employer-provided healthcare is one of the bedrock benefits that we as a union will always fight to protect,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “We have fought it from the beginning, securing several delays, providing us the time and opportunity to fight for a full repeal of this reckless tax.”
The bill now moves to the Senate where Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) has sponsored companion legislation, S 684, which has support from nearly half the Senate, but more work must be done to secure as many supporters as possible.
This proposal was sold to the public as a way to lower healthcare costs while shifting savings to the paychecks of everyday Americans, but the fact is that premiums don’t significantly drive healthcare costs, and companies rarely if ever pass on savings to workers. The tax, while not due to be implemented until January 2022, is already having an impact on current labor negotiations around the country.
The IAFF will continue to demand full and immediate repeal of the Cadillac Tax to ensure the healthcare of our members is protected.