Westerman Statement on H.R. 748 Passage
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) joined U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) and 358 cosponsors to pass H.R. 748, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019.
“Roughly 158 million Americans have employer-based health insurance, and the so-called ‘Cadillac Tax’ would unduly tax many of those employer plans,” Westerman said. “This cost increase would be untenable for some families, forcing them into different plans simply because they can’t afford the taxes. I included a repeal of the Cadillac Tax in the Fair Care Act, because I believe hardworking employees should be able to choose the health care plan that’s best for them without having to shoulder staggering taxes. In an increasingly polarized Washington, I’m grateful for Congressman Courtney’s legislation that puts partisanship aside and benefits Americans.”
“The American people gave Congress a mandate: address the rising cost of health care,” Courtney said. “Out of pocket costs are increasingly unaffordable for families, even those with insurance. If the 40 percent tax on employer sponsored health plans goes into effect, the affordability crisis will dramatically worsen. This tax has never generated a penny of revenue, yet it continues to threaten working Americans’ health benefits. After over a decade of work towards this effort, the House did the right thing today for families across America by voting to fully repeal the tax. Now, Senator McConnell must take a cue from the strong statement made today in the House and bring this bill up for a vote in the Senate.”
The Cadillac Tax is a regulation proposed by former President Barack Obama that would apply a 40 percent excise tax to certain high-cost employer health care plans. While originally designed to offset the cost of Medicaid expansion, the Cadillac Tax would prevent many families on employer-based health insurance from being able to afford certain plans.
Congress has twice delayed implementation of the tax, and H.R. 748 would completely eliminate it. After passing on a vote of 419-6, the bill now heads to the Senate.