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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Repeal the Excise Tax: Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, HR 2050

On April 28th, 2015, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) unveiled new legislation that would repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans scheduled to go into effect in 2018. Also known as the “Cadillac tax,” the policy would apply a 40 percent tax on health insurance expenditures over $10,200 per person and $27,500 per family. The excise tax was established in a later version of the Affordable Care Act, but its scheduled implementation was delayed five years by an effort led by Courtney with 191 House colleagues in 2010. Studies of the policy have indicated that it will have a disproportionate and rapidly increasing impact on older workers, women, and workers in high-cost regions. 

Economists and actuaries from the Economic Policy Institute, TowersWatson and Milliman, the consulting firm, have projected that the tax would unfairly impact older workers, women, and—most disproportionately—workers living in high-cost areas, including the Northeast. A recent Milliman study reported that nearly 70 percent of variance in health insurance premiums is explained by geographic location, while just six percent of variance is due to the comprehensiveness of the benefits. Since the excise tax is determined solely by premium cost—not the quality or “richness” of a plan’s benefits—it will unfairly impact older workers, women, and people who live in areas where health care costs are high.

Courtney's bill, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, would repeal the excise tax, protecting workers, families, and employers from this unnecessary burden. The bill has more than 120 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, and has earned endorsements from business, labor, and health policy advocates.

More on Repeal the Excise Tax: Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, HR 2050

February 4, 2016 Press Release
“When Congress took action to delay the so-called ‘Cadillac Tax’ late last year, it was in recognition of the fact that a 40% excise tax on health plans was going to be an unfair burden on businesses and workers if it was ever implemented,” said Courtney. “While I have always been a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, I continue to believe that the Cadillac Tax was ill-conceived when it was first added to the law – and the case against it has only grown stronger with time."
December 27, 2015 In The News
Passage of the $1.15 trillion omnibus spending bill last week was celebrated by many as a rare bit of bipartisan cooperation in Congress, even though that cooperation involved both sides giving into some of the others’ worst instincts. Spending will continue to increase, unaffordable tax breaks for special interest groups will survive, Medicare and Social Security spending will go unreformed.
December 18, 2015 Press Release
“Passage of a two year delay to 2020 of the 40% excise tax on health plans represents significant progress in the effort to protect middle-class health benefits,” said Courtney. “Along with many supporters of the Affordable Care Act, I warned in 2010 that the tax was ill-conceived when it was inserted in the legislation at the end, and eventually striking it from the books would only strengthen healthcare reform. The extraordinary collation of groups such as the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the American Benefits Council, and organized labor did an outstanding job of educating Congress on the exploding cost shift to patients that the excise tax would cause, creating new barriers to affordable healthcare. With the delay in place, I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, the Administration, and those outside experts in the future to get this over the finish line.”
December 17, 2015 In The News
U.S. Representatives John B. Larson and Joe Courtney are hailing the passage of a major tax bill that helps companies in Connecticut, as well as the poor.
December 3, 2015 Press Release
“Today’s 90-10 vote on the Heller Amendment in the Senate to repeal the Cadillac Tax demonstrates the overwhelming bipartisan support of our repeal efforts in both Houses of Congress,” said Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2). “I applaud Senators Heller, Heinrich, and Brown, as well as my otherSenate colleagues on joining the strong majority of the House, and the diverse group of stakeholders from every corner of our society in this fight. The overwhelming majority vote today reinforces that we can join together to improve the Affordable Care Act to keep health insurance affordable for every working family.”
September 17, 2015 Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) joined U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) as they introduced bipartisan companion legislation to Courtney's House bill to repeal a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the “Cadillac Tax,” which will impose a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans beginning in 2018.

April 28, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) unveiled new legislation that would repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans scheduled to go into effect in 2018. Also known as the “Cadillac tax,” the policy would apply a 40 percent tax on health insurance expenditures over $10,200 per person and $27,500 per family. The excise tax was established in a later version of the Affordable Care Act, but its scheduled implementation was delayed five years by an effort led by Courtney with 191 House colleagues in 2010.