The Opinion Pages | LETTER
End ‘Cadillac’ Health Tax
OCT. 14, 2015
To the Editor:
Re “Don’t Repeal the Cadillac Tax,” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Bob Kocher (Op-Ed, Oct. 2): Proponents of the so-called Cadillac tax cite its potential to curtail health spending and raise significant revenue as arguments to keep this provision in place.
In 2009 and 2010, it was billed as a tax on only the most expensive and lavish health plans, those enjoyed by high-paid chief executives. But the reality facing workers and employers today demonstrates that older workers, women and employees in high-cost regions will bear the brunt of this tax penalty.
The Affordable Care Act was intended to expand access to quality health insurance and care while controlling costs by rewarding value instead of quantity. By penalizing contributions to flexible spending accounts and on-site wellness clinics, and encouraging higher deductibles — which will deter patients from seeking preventive and primary care — the Cadillac tax undermines those goals.
Finally, the theoretical $91 billion in revenue generated by the Cadillac tax is a pipe dream. According to the Congressional Budget Office, three-quarters of that revenue would be generated through income and payroll taxes. I challenge Dr. Emanuel to find an average worker who believes the theory that employers would issue broad wage increases to compensate workers for reduced health benefits.
The Cadillac tax is bad policy that creates bad incentives in our health care system. That is why I am leading a bipartisan effort in the House to repeal the Cadillac tax before it damages the progress we have made since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
The writer, a Democrat, represents Connecticut’s Second District.