NOTE: This is a post by Dave Sterrett, a new user here at GMD. He's been trying to sign in but technical difficulties have so far made that impossible, so because it's time-sensitive I wanted to get it posted today. JMc
By Dave Sterrett, Esq.
As working Vermonters gather today at the Statehouse to advocate for better health care let’s make a commitment to real health care reform that will improve their lives. Looming on the horizon is a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will severely impact our teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public servants. It’s called the “Cadillac tax” and it’s a 40% excise tax on individual health plans worth more than $10,200 and family plans worth more than $27,500.
For all intents and purposes, that means the health plans for middle-class Vermonters will greatly increase starting in 2018 to fund the broken Vermont Health Connect website. The tragedy of the situation is that these workers gave up wage increases for years in exchange for more generous health care policies. Now the Cadillac Tax threatens to take all of those gains away.
Vermonters never asked for the president to radically change our health care system. We had our own Vermont health care program for low-income Vermonters called Catamount Health that was working well before the president decided to impose a one-size fits health care system on Vermont. We had the opportunity to expand Catamount without all of the difficulties we’ve had with Vermont Health Connect, the $200 million needlessly spent in taxpayer dollars, and the impending Cadillac Tax.
Thankfully we can roll back the clock, repeal the Cadillac Tax, and work on designing a health care system for Vermonters created by Vermonters. Courageous legislators from all political parties are co-sponsoring legislation in the Vermont House and Senate to give Vermont the power to repeal the Cadillac tax. This Health Care Compact bill would allow Vermont to return health care decisions that affect Vermonters back to Montpelier. On this May Day, let’s honor working Vermonters the best way possible by passing the Health Care Compact and ending the Cadillac Tax.
Dave Sterrett, Esq., a health care advocate and attorney, is Principal at the Health Care Policy Group and represents the Health Care Compact.