A quartet of union leaders was joined on a press conference call today by Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia, to present new data which demonstrates that Federal workers covered by FEHBP would-be hard hit by the Senate's proposed excise tax on higher-cost health benefit plans. Report findings indicate that single enrollees would be hit by a tax surcharge (or benefit cut) in the first year of the tax, and that their average cost over ten years would be $1,600 per year. Family plans were projected to face a $5,500 annual tax per year by 2022.
Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America, reminded listeners of the President's campaign pledge to ensure that all Americans have a plan like the one he enjoyed as a member of Congress. That plan is an FEHBP plan, Cohen noted, saying that these plans are likely to be cut significantly as a result of this task. "Our goal is to say there are other ways to fund this," Cohen added. The best way, he suggested, was to ensure that "those employers who don't pay, pay."
John Gage, President of the American Federation of Government Employees, laid out the union argument against the tax. "The excise tax will rise at about 3%," he said, "far below the 9% that BCBS plans have averaged over the last decade."
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