Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Excise Tax On Middle-Class Health Benefits Introduced in Senate

March 9, 2019 by TWN Staff
Physician Tammy Tran, who works in R-Health's primary-care clinic at Clemens Food Group in Hatfield, examining patient Sheldon Jones.

This week, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal a provision in the Affordable Care Act known as the “Cadillac Tax,” which taxes high-cost health insurance plans and impacts middle-class health benefits.

In the 115th Congress, more than 300 members of Congress from both parties cosponsored legislation to repeal the 40 percent tax. Although the tax was originally a provision in the Affordable Care Act, implementation has been delayed numerous times by bipartisan coalitions in Congress, most recently to 2022.

Beginning in 2022, the “Cadillac Tax” would impact employers and families whose health insurance plans cost more than $11,100 for an individual, and $29,750 for family coverage.

“Eliminating this onerous tax on employees’ health coverage will protect important benefits for workers and ensure that businesses and families get a fair deal,” Senator Heinrich said. “I’m proud to join Senator Rounds in leading this bipartisan effort to ensure millions of middle-class families who rely on employer-based health care aren’t unfairly penalized by this tax.”

“The bill we introduced today is a step toward repealing another negative provision of the Affordable Care Act: the Cadillac Tax,” Senator Rounds said. “If implemented, the Cadillac Tax would impose a 40 percent tax on certain employer-sponsored health care plans. This would dramatically increase the costs of healthcare for South Dakota families. The Cadillac Tax is currently scheduled to go into effect in 2022, and unless we’re able to repeal it, millions of middle-class families across the country will be impacted. I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to advance this bipartisan legislation to fully repeal the Cadillac Tax.”

The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act 2019, led by Heinrich and Rounds, is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.,, Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Cory Gardner, R-Colo., John Boozman, R-Ark., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.,, Tammy Duckworth,D-Ill., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Gary Peters, D-Mich., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Todd Young, R-Ind., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney, D-Conn., and Mike Kelly, R-Penn., introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

A copy of the bill is available here.

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