Opposes proposed tax on 'Cadillac' health plans

The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has weighed in on the healthcare debate, coming out against taxing high-end insurance plans.

IATSE president Matthew Loeb sent letters to Congress on Wednesday after the union’s general executive board voted to oppose any such tax. AFTRA, SAG, Teamsters and the WGA have announced their opposition previously.

Please be advised that the IATSE, a labor union representing over 110,000 members, is well aware that the health care bill passed by the Senate contains provisions that will tax the so-called ‘Cadillac’ health care plans,” Loeb said. “Unions have negotiated for these benefits as part of the economic package for many years. Now, after acting responsibly by providing meaningful health coverage, we are to be punished by having our benefits taxed.”

Labor leaders have met with President Obama and House Democrats this week to lobby for stripping out the tax on “Cadillac” health plans proposed by the Senate in the bill it passed last month. The House has been considering changes to the bill and is expected to sent it back to the Senate for a final vote later this month.

Obama has indicated he supports the Senate plan.

Loeb noted that IATSE’s supported candidates who can impact the vote and added, “That the unions, the true champions of workers and the prime vehicle to move America’s health care agenda, could end up worse off than we were before is unacceptable.”

The IATSE health plan is funded by contributions from employers. Currently, employers pay 14% (8.5% to health, 5.5% to pension) for the DGA, 14.5% (8.5% health, 6% pension) for the WGA, 15% (9.25%, 5.75%) for SAG and 15% (9.75%, 5.25%) for AFTRA on top of every dollar of compensation into the pension and health plans.

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