RELEASE: Problem Solvers Caucus Praises Consensus Calendar House Passage of Bipartisan Cadillac Tax Repeal Key Utilization of New House Rules
WASHINGTON - Today, utilizing the new House “Consensus Calendar,” the Problem Solvers Caucus praised the repeal of the excessive health care "Cadillac Tax" surcharge. The bill received priority consideration on the House floor by having more than 290 bipartisan cosponsors – a key new house rule the Problem Solvers Caucus fought for early this Congress. The bill, H.R.748 -- Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019, had 369 bipartisan co-sponsors.
H.R. 748 cuts the 40 percent tax levied on employer health insurance plans above certain thresholds that is set to go into effect in 2022, which would cause health care costs to increase for one in five Americans. The tax would affect an estimated 1 in 5 employers. Employer-sponsored insurance is the largest source of coverage for Americans, covering more than 156 million people.
“Today’s bipartisan vote to cut the sky-high Cadillac Tax is a big win for New Jersey families, including so many hardworking women and men of labor,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I'm glad that over eighty percent of my House colleagues who cosponsored this bill came together to make health care more affordable for families nationwide."
“The consensus calendar has turned into the go to place for common sense bipartisan bills to move out of the house closet to law to help people we care deeply about.. The Problem Solvers Caucus is proud to give the Cadillac Tax an avenue for passage and we hope other Members utilize this rule change to give their common sense bills a fair chance at passage,” said Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23).
“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,” said Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3). “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 Affordable Care Act was an important effort to expand access to quality, affordable health care, but it wasn’t perfect,” Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-2) said. “In the spirit of improving the ACA, I’m proud to push for bipartisan repeal of the Cadillac tax, which would have motivated employers to reduce benefits and burden workers with higher health care costs."
“I believe all Americans deserve access to quality health care. That’s why I’m glad the House is repealing the Cadillac Tax, which if not repealed would put a 40 percent tax on certain employer-sponsored health coverage plans, driving up costs for individual consumers in the form of higher health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs,” said Congressman Paul Mitchell (MI-10). “I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to make health care more accessible, lower prescription drug costs, eliminate surprise billing, and more.”
“I’ve heard from my constituents that they want Washington to put politics aside and work together to bring down health care costs. All New Yorkers need access to quality, affordable health care, no matter their zip code and eliminating this tax will help make that a reality. This bill is supported by Democrats and Republicans, and I am glad it is coming to the floor for a vote,” said Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22).
Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-3) said, “The ‘Cadillac Tax’ is unfair to many union members who have negotiated high quality healthcare coverage. The bipartisan repeal of this tax will help millions of working families across America.”
“Minnesotans deserve access to affordable and quality healthcare,” said Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-8). “Unfortunately, in recent years, healthcare has steadily become less affordable and should the Cadillac Tax take effect, this crisis will only worsen. By implementing a 40 percent tax on certain employer-sponsored health insurance plans, the impending Cadillac Tax would punish hardworking families, many of whom already have a hard time making ends meet. When I came to Congress, I promised to address the rising cost of healthcare and I’m proud to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to permanently repeal this unfair tax.”
“Today’s vote to eliminate the Cadillac tax is a win for hardworking families,” said Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-8). “The last thing people in Northeast Wisconsin need is another burdensome tax on their healthcare, and I’m glad the House voted overwhelmingly to eliminate this provision.”
Congressman GT Thompson (PA-15) said, “I’m a proud cosponsor of H.R. 748, which will repeal the tax on high-cost employer health coverage, also known as the “Cadillac” Tax. We’ve voted on this issue several times in the past and a repeal is long overdue. I am glad we can work in a bipartisan manner to finally provide some certainty, which will positively impact Pennsylvania and American families nationwide.”
“Minnesotans have given us a loud and clear message – we need more affordable and accessible health care for everyone. The Cadillac Tax is bad for Minnesota workers, families, and employers, and I’m pleased to support its repeal. This is another important step in the House’s fight to lower costs and fix our ailing health care system,” said Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03).
“I’m glad to see the House considering H.R. 748 to once and for all eliminate the “Cadillac tax” which would have profoundly impacted the residents and families of Pennsylvania’s 11th District. The wide bipartisan support for this legislation underscores the “Cadillac Tax” as one of many, manifest failures of Obamacare. It’s encouraging that the House is coming together to fix something that’s long overdue. While this step forward is much-needed, there’s more work to be done to address the rising cost of healthcare and drive competition in the healthcare marketplace,” said Congressman Lloyd Smucker (PA-11).
“Health policy affects every single American, and improvements to care access and affordability must be made in a bipartisan manner,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1). “The Problem Solvers Caucus is offering solutions. I proudly support the repeal of the ‘Cadillac tax’ and will continue to fight to protect the healthcare benefits of all Americans.”
Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-3) said, “The Cadillac Tax is an unfair burden on the middle class. This vote puts the needs of families and Nevadans with pre-existing conditions first, and it shows what Congress can accomplish when we come together and put forward bipartisan legislation that benefits the American people.”
“The rising cost of health care is one of the biggest challenges facing communities across the nation and if implemented, this overbearing tax would exacerbate how unaffordable coverage has become, cutting even further into the budgets of American families,” said Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14). “As a proud cosponsor H.R. 748, I call on my counterparts in the Senate to pass this much-needed legislation to scrap the Cadillac Tax once and for all.”
“Health insurance taxes, such as the Cadillac Tax, would increase the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage if enacted – penalizing workers for receiving the health benefits they have earned. I have consistently opposed this tax and others that create high health insurance premiums for hardworking Americans. I was proud to join my colleagues today by voting in favor of the Middle-Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, which will allow American workers to keep more of their hard-earned wages and avoid unnecessary taxes on their employer-sponsored health coverage,” said Congressman John Katko (NY-24).
“This overwhelmingly bipartisan bill is a win for the health of Americans across the nation. We so often ask working people to get covered and participate in our healthcare system—it would be wrong to then turn around and unnecessarily tax them when they do,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24). “I’m proud that our caucus pushed for rules reforms that allow bills like this to come to the floor, and I’m thrilled that the House is coming together to repeal the Cadillac Tax and ensure that families everywhere can access lifesaving care with fewer barriers.”
“I’m grateful to be a co-sponsor of this legislation (H.R. 748 - the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019) that would repeal the Cadillac Tax to help lower healthcare cost for many Americans,” said Congressman Don Bacon (NE-2). “Today, Republicans and Democrats came together and did what was best for the American people and small businesses.”
“South Jersey families should not be penalized for the simple fact that they are blessed with quality employer-provided health insurance. We need to cut taxes on middle-class and lower-income families and individuals, not raise taxes. It is our responsibility as the nation’s legislators to help lower health care costs, prescription drug prices and create greater financial and health security for Jersey families,” said Congressman Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2). “The Middle-Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act would fully repeal the impending 40% tax on high-premium employer-sponsored health insurance and I am proud to have voted to eliminate this disastrous tax.”
Rep. Joe Courtney, the lead sponsor of H.R.748, filed a motion to place the bill on the House's Consensus Calendar on May 21st. Under the new House Rules, once a bill reaches 290 co-sponsors, a 25 legislative day clock will begin. If the primary committee of jurisdiction does not report the bill out of committee by the end of the 25 legislative days, the legislation will be placed on the new Consensus Calendar, where it will remain until the bill is considered. For every in-session week, after February 28th of the First Session and before September 30th of the Second Session, majority leadership will be required to bring at least one bill on the Consensus Calendar to the House floor for a vote.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 48 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).