Beginning in 2018, a new tax will hit health care benefits for working families. This 40% tax on high-quality health plans unnecessarily hurts those who need the most care: women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. But it also will hurt many people with average plans and those who are managing chronic conditions.
The tax always has been a controversial part of the Affordable Care Act. During the congressional debate on the health reform law, many lawmakers opposed the tax because it was designed to make healthcare less affordable for people who get coverage through their job. The tax is conceptually flawed and must be repealed.
Opposition to the Tax Is Mounting
Some 75% of those polled oppose the “Cadillac Plan” tax when they understand it “would likely cause employees to pay more out of pocket for health care services due to higher deductibles and co-pays, ” according to a 2015 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
More than 160 Democrats and 120 Republicans have signed on to legislation to repeal the tax. They realize the tax already is hurting the people who can least afford to pay more for health care, especially lower-income households and people with chronic conditions.
Congress must repeal the tax in 2015 to prevent further harm.
Several repeal bills have been introduced in Congress. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) is sponsoring a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2050) to repeal the tax, as are Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) via S. 2045. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has a related bill (S. 2075) with a number of Democratic co-sponsors.
A 2015 Problem: The Tax Already is Driving Out-of-Pocket Costs Higher
When working people join together to form a union, we win.
Working folks speaking up together through a union not only raise wages, but also improve working conditions for everyone. Unions are the great counterweight to greedy corporate CEOs: strong unions mean a strong middle class.
Fix Overtime Pay for America’s Workers
Target: Secretary Thomas Perez, U.S. Department of Labor
Millions of Americans have been working overtime and not getting paid for it. The U.S. Department of Labor just unveiled new overtime eligibility rules that will restore overtime protections that have been weakened over the years. Now it needs to hear from us to make sure these new overtime rules provide even stronger protection for working people.
STEP ONE: Know Your Rights
Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions. Eligible employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons and to attend union meetings. (Supervisors and a few other types of employees customarily are excluded from coverage.)
Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees' efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. So, before youstart talking union where you work, get in touch with a union that will help you organize.
STEP TWO: Find Out Which Union Is Right for You
To form a union on the job, you need the backup and hands-on help from the union you are seeking to join. If you don't already know which union is most able to help you, find out more about the unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO by visiting their websites. Many of these websites enable you to contact the right person there directly to help you form a union.
In communities across the country, the AFL-CIO has local and state councils where unions come together to work toward common goals. To find out about union activity in your community, visit the website of your state federation of labor or central labor council or check local directory assistance for this phone listing. Staff members at these offices can put you in touch with a local union that is right for you.
STEP THREE: Find Out About Working America
If forming a union with your coworkers isn’t a real possibility for you, you can still be a part of the union movement by joining Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for people who don’t have a union at work.
STEP FOUR: Get in Touch with a Union Organizer
Union organizers assist employees in forming unions on the job to give them the same opportunity for a say at work, good wages and decent working conditions.
Worker Misclassification affects tens of thousands of workers around Georgia, every day. Whether they are truck drivers at the Port of Savannah, Stagehands at the Rock & Roll venues in Atlanta, or Construction workers across our State - this practice is widespread, and must end.
What is worker misclassification? Simply put - it occurs when a worker is paid as an independent contractor (1099), but is treated like an employee (told when to show up, what to do, what to wear, etc).
The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in lost wages and state tax revenues every year. Workers don't receive the same protection, workers compensation or unemployment insurance.
The vast majority of business owners are doing the right thing and following state law. However it is nearly impossible to discover the unscrupulous businesses, because there is currently no mechanism to report this practice.
We need you to contact your State Representative ask them to support House Bill 500 to further define in statute, worker misclassification. And to make sure there are adequate whistle-blower protections for the workers who would report this practice.
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