For immediate release
December 18, 2015
UNITE HERE Applauds Two-Year Delay on ACA Excise Tax
Continues Push for Full Repeal of 40% Tax on Health Benefits
Statement by D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE
“We are pleased that there is now a bi-partisan recognition in Congress that fixes must be made to the Affordable Care Act, and it starts with the full repeal of the 40% excise tax on health benefits. It is increasingly clear that Congress is finally listening to the very real need of their constituents, especially workers making less than $50,000 a year who are hit hardest by the tax. Just this week, a landmark study shows once again that monopoly pricing — not workers using too much health care — is the key driver of high health care costs.
“I want to specifically single out the leadership of Congressman Courtney (D-CT) who launched this crusade in the House against the odds, and prevailed. Additional leaders spearheading this effort include Congressman Guinta (R-NH) and Senators Heller (R-NV) and Heinrich (D-NM).
“Given the strong votes in the Senate and the overwhelming sponsorship in the House for repeal, we had hoped that repeal, not delay, would be the outcome. Nevertheless, we are heartened that in an era of increasing partisanship that perhaps now both parties will come together not to scrap health reform, but work to improve it. We accept the delay as a down payment on full repeal.
“Let me underscore: delay will not alter the fundamental fact that the 40% excise tax will do nothing to cut health care costs, improve access to better healthcare, nor raise lost wages that go to pay for increased taxes. Our union has always supported the need for fundamental health reform to improve the health care of all Americans. We supported the ACA when we were promised we could keep the health care we have. That turned out to be a false promise by the Obama Administration. Now both parties need to accept the reality of the ACA along with the need to make fixes that work fairly for everyone.”
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UNITE HERE represents 270,000 women and men across North America who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries.