Health Care Excise Tax Hits Millions

An article in The Washington Post confirms what the IAM has been saying all along: the Senate-proposed “Cadillac Tax” on health care benefits will not only affect union workers, but non-union workers, as well.

“It happens often in Washington: A perception emerges and soon hardens into fact,” says the article. “Because organized labor took the lead in opposing the tax, the assumption took hold that it would hit unions the hardest… But according to a new analysis, the conventional wisdom about the tax is wrong… At least 80 percent of the workers whose plans would be subject to the tax in 2019 would be non-union jobs.”

The analysis, conducted by professors at the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center, including a former member of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, hammers away the absurdity behind the 40 percent excise tax on plans exceeding $23,000 for families and $8,500 for individuals.

Earlier this week, the White House proposed raising the tax threshold to $27,500 for family plans. IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger continues to argue it is unfair to fund health care reform on the backs of working families.

“The Machinists have said from the beginning that the mis-named ‘Cadillac Tax’ on health care benefits is a threat to every car in the lot, not just those plans achieved through fair collective bargaining,” says Buffenbarger. “Any health care reform legislation that is funded by taxing the value of workers’ existing health care benefits is wrong. We continue to hold our position on this matter, not only for our members, but for the millions of Americans who would also be impacted should this egregious measure remain in the final piece of legislation.”