All Working Families?

The AFL-CIO’s Now Blog outlines the details of the deal Big Labor worked out with the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress to exempt labor unions from most of the impact of an excise tax on highvalue health care plans.

Here are the bullet points, as cited in “Health Care Tax: Union Leaders Outline Big Improvements for All Working Families,” which we assume spins various provisions to make them sounder more inclusive than they really are.

  • Raising the threshold at which family plans are taxed from $23,000 to $24,000 in 2013 for all working families, with annual increases of Consumer Price Index plus one. The threshold for single plans will be $8,900. (Taft Hartley plans will be considered at the family rate.)
  • Raising the threshold on plans further if health care costs grow faster than expected from 2010-2013.
  • Exempting dental and vision costs beginning in 2015, which could raise the threshold as much as $2,000.
  • Raising the threshold for plans that have significant numbers of women and/or older workers.
  • Preserving the original Senate proposal to raise the threshold for plans with workers in high-risk professions, affecting more than 9 million workers.
  • Preserving the original Senate proposal that would raise the threshold for plans with retirees age 55 and up.
  • Providing transitional relief for employers and workers to adjust to the tax.
  • Temporarily raising the threshold for high-cost states, affecting more than 38 million workers. 
  • Providing a five-year transition window for state and local employee plans and plans negotiated through collective bargaining agreements before they are subject to the tax, as typically is done when federal laws affecting workers are enacted so that agreements will not have to be renegotiated. 
  • The ability for bargaining plans to go into the exchange in 2017.

All working families? All working families? The labor rhetoric is preposterous and dishonest.


Leave a Reply