Two features of Obamacare that were opposed by organized labor were eliminated in a bill President Donald Trump signed into law Dec. 20.
One was the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “Cadillac tax”—a 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored insurance premiums that exceed $10,200 for individual and $27,500 for family coverage. That would have led to benefit cuts for union-negotiated plans in some industries and parts of the country. The tax was originally supposed to begin in 2018, but Congress repeatedly stepped in to delay it; it was most recently set to take effect in 2022.
The other was an annual fee on health insurers, which raised the cost of many union-negotiated health insurance benefits.
Both fees—and a medical device tax which was also repealed—were meant to help pay to expand Medicaid and subsidize lower-income individuals who buy insurance on state-managed exchanges. With the taxes repealed, those costs will come out of the government’s general revenues.
In the House, 218 Democrats voted for the bill to repeal the Obamacare taxes, 7 against, while 112 Republicans voted against and 79 for. All five Oregon representatives, plus Southwest Washington’s Jamie Herrera Beutler (R) voted for it, as did all four Oregon and Washington senators.