Press Release

Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Proposal to Repeal Affordable Care Act Tax

For Release: 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Contact:

Elena Temple
202-662-4801
etemple@aft.org

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in support of Rep. Joe Courtney’s bill that would repeal a tax on quality healthcare plans:

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans gain healthcare coverage and provided the preventive care and peace of mind they need to ensure they’re not one illness away from bankruptcy. The Trump administration’s repeated attempts to destabilize and undermine the law are not only cruel and inhumane, they’re fiscally irresponsible and lead to poorer health outcomes and more people relying on emergency rooms for routine medical care. The United States is the only civilized country to ask sick and injured people to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for lower-quality healthcare.  

“This bill proposes repealing the excise tax on high-quality health plans that working people have fought for, often choosing these plans over wage increases. Within the AFT alone, nearly 90 percent of our educators, nurses and public employees could have their hard-earned healthcare benefits reduced if this tax is implemented. The ACA was never intended to hurt families and penalize employees who negotiated reasonable, comprehensive healthcare.

“We must work on ways to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible, not less so. Rep. Courtney’s step to repeal a punitive tax on comprehensive healthcare plans is one critical way to do just that, and the House should pass it.”

 

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.