Lipinski Votes for Working Families to Repeal 40% Tax on Quality Health Benefits (July 17, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) on Wednesday looked out for the interests of working families across the country by voting in favor of the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act. The bill (H.R. 748), which Lipinski was instrumental in getting called for a vote on the floor, would cut the 40% excise tax levied on certain employer health insurance plans that is set to go into effect in 2022.

“For too long the looming 40% tax on health benefits has been a thorn in the side of working families, including laborers, operating engineers, carpenters, pipefitters, painters, plumbers, ironworkers, transportation workers, firefighters, police and others who have fought for and won quality health benefits, oftentimes through collective bargaining agreements,” said Lipinski. “Without a permanent solution, as many as one out of every four workers with job-based health plan coverage could be affected by this tax by 2025. It’s time to end this tax permanently.”

The 40% excise tax was enacted in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which Lipinski said has many good effects, but also had many flaws as enacted. More than 181 million Americans currently depend on employer-sponsored health insurance and this excise tax has been pushing deductibles and out-of-pocket costs higher as employers are forced to make changes in plan design to avoid the looming tax. The excise tax also disproportionally impacts workers with robust health plans reached through collective bargaining agreements by unions with their employers.

Lipinski also applauded how the bill was finally called for a vote from the newly formed House Consensus Calendar. Under new House Rules that Lipinski and his Problems Solvers Caucus colleagues got enacted, once a bill reaches 290 co-sponsors, a 25 legislative day clock begins. If the bill is not reported out of its germane committee by the end of the 25 legislative days, it is placed on the Consensus Calendar, where it remains until the bill is considered. In effect, it forces majority leadership to bring popular bipartisan legislation to the House floor for a vote.

“I am glad to see the rules changes we helped implement to break the gridlock in Washington are bearing fruit,” Lipinski said. “This helps open up the legislative process to more bottom-up policymaking and gives Congress a greater opportunity to get things done for the American people.”

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