(Washington, DC) –Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) spoke on the Senate floor, urging his colleagues to support his legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Acts (ACA)’s “Cadillac Tax,” which taxes high-cost health insurance plans. Click here or below to watch his speech.
“Fully repealing the Cadillac tax is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to join forces and work together, to repeal a bad tax for one purpose: Help 151 million workers keep the health insurance they like."
Remarks as prepared:
I rise today to share my concerns with the devastating impacts of the Cadillac tax, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The Cadillac Tax is a 40 percent excise tax set to take effect in 2018 on employer sponsored health insurance plans.
Mr. President, this is precisely why I have authored the only bipartisan piece of legislation to fully repeal this onerous tax.
In Nevada, 1.3 million workers who have employer-sponsored health insurance plans will be hit by the Cadillac tax.
These are public employees in Carson City, service industry workers on the Strip in Las Vegas, small business owners and retirees across the state.
Hardly anyone in Nevada will be shielded from the devastating effects of the Cadillac Tax.
Across America, 54 percent of employers and almost 151 million workers who currently enjoy employer sponsored health care benefits will see their benefits cut or their health costs go up.
Given the devastating impact this tax will have on most of middle class America, I teamed up with Senator Heinrich from New Mexico to introduce, “the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act.”
I am proud to say that our legislation has14 other co-sponsors and the support of over 75 organizations.
Some of these organizations include unions, chambers of commerce, small business owners, state and local government employees, and retirees – and they are all saying the same thing, “the Cadillac tax needs to be fully repealed or our employees will experience massive changes to their health care.”
We’re talking about reduced benefits, increased premiums, and higher deductibles.
Over 33 million Americans who use Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and 13.5 million Americans who use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) may see these accounts vanish in the coming years as companies scramble to avoid the law’s 40 percent tax.
HSAs and FSAs are used for things like hospital and maternity services, dental care, physical therapy, and access to mental health services.
Access to these life-saving services could all be gone for tens of millions of Americans if the Cadillac tax is not fully repealed.
I have heard from employers, from big business to unions to small businesses, from all over Nevada saying they will inevitably have to eliminate services their workers currently enjoy, dramatically increase deductibles and premiums, and will have to cut certain health care providers out of their networks.
This goes at the heart of Obamacare’s broken promises, “If you like your health care you can keep it,” “If you like your doctor you can keep it.”
Earlier this week, I held a telephone town hall meeting with thousands of Nevadans from all walks of life. During the meeting I asked the participants on the call: “Should the Cadillac tax be fully repealed?”
Almost 70 percent of them said, “Yes, the Cadillac tax should be fully repealed.” Let me repeat that, almost 70 percent of them support repealing the Cadillac tax.
They see this as a burdensome and costly tax that will hurt hard-working Nevadans.
This onerous tax targets Americans who already have high quality health care.
No one claims that our health system ever was or is perfect.
The goal of health reform should be to help those who do not have health coverage, and lower costs for those who already have insurance.
This tax doesn’t achieve either of those goals.
It is very rare these days to see this much agreement in Washington. Organized labor, chambers of commerce, local and state governments, and small business have come together with a bipartisan group of Senators putting forth a solution to fix a problem affecting so many hard working Americans and their families.
Some members on both sides of the aisle have tried to make this a partisan issue for different reasons.
This is not a partisan issue which is evident by the fact that companion legislation to my bill in the House enjoys more Democratic cosponsors than Republican.
Fully repealing the Cadillac tax is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to join forces and work together, to repeal a bad tax for one purpose: Help 151 million workers keep the health insurance they like.
Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the floor (and if no one else is on the floor getting ready to speak, you must also say, “I suggest the absence of a quorum.”
In September, Senators Heller and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), introduced the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, which fully repeals the ACA’s “Cadillac Tax.” The two Senators introduced this Senate companion to U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney’s (D-CT02) House legislation. Beginning in 2018, the “Cadillac Tax” would tax employers whose health insurance plans cost more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,450 a year for families at 40 percent of the cost above those limits.