USW Joins Senator Brown’s Call to Repeal the Excise Tax on High Cost Health Plans

Contact: Anna Fendley (202) 778-3306,

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) today thanked Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) for introducing a bill to repeal the excise tax on high cost health plans. Although it is nicknamed the “Cadillac tax,” this poorly crafted policy aims to make working families pay more for their health insurance or reduce their benefits by imposing a 40 percent tax on the cost of coverage over a certain threshold.

“USW members are already seeing the effects of the tax at the bargaining table even though it does not go into effect until 2018,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Our members are fighting employer proposals to avoid the impact of the tax by dramatically increasing the cost of deductibles and copays coming out of their pockets without corresponding wage increases.

“This tax falls on the backs of working people because it hits average plans, not those of the richest one percent. It is really a ‘Chevy tax’ rather than the ‘Cadillac tax.’”

Broad bipartisan support for the repeal of the tax is demonstrated by three additional bills introduced by Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.); Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.); and, Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), along with a groundswell of business and labor support. The USW urges congressional leadership to act swiftly to pass this important legislation.

The USW is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, energy, chemicals, transportation, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments.

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