WGAE Calls For Exemption From Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac Tax”

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NEW YORK, NY (AUGUST 27, 2015) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), a labor union representing thousands of writers from film, television and digital media, today filed comments with the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service calling for collectively bargained health plans to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac Tax.”

The WGAE contends that unions and employers negotiate contributions to multiemployer health plans that reflect the economic reality of a particular industry and allocates compensation in a way that meets the employees’ actual needs and aspirations.  The Guild reasons that to strip hard-working men and women of these benefits is to deprive them of the benefit of their bargain.

The WGAE has spent decades working with the affiliated Writers Guild of America, West to win collectively bargained agreements, which require employers to contribute to a multiemployer Taft-Hartley group health plan. The Cadillac Tax would strip away benefits from the basic package of compensation Guild members have struggled for decades to win for themselves and their families.

Collectively-bargained plans have historically been exempt from a number of provisions regulating benefit plans. The federal government has always recognized that the decisions made by employers and the representatives of their employers during the give-and-take of collective bargaining should not be dismantled by regulatory provisions derived in response to separate policy concerns.

President Obama’s signature law has succeeded in bringing health care to millions of uninsured Americans. In order to avoid a deeply regressive result that is contrary to the stated purpose of the Affordable Care Act, collectively bargained health plans must be exempt from this huge excise tax. This is the only way to ensure that working people who made the rational decision to bargain for a reasonable level of benefits from their employers do not lose their benefits.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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