IAFF Calls for Action to Oppose Excise Tax on Health Insurance

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) remains committed to fighting on its members’ behalf for health care reform that protects the benefit plans our members have and reduces costs both to our members and their employers. Specifically, this union has been lobbying against a plan to tax so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans to finance the health care overhaul.

This excise tax, which is being considered by the U.S. Senate, would assess a tax on high-value insurance plans – a tax that would hit many IAFF members’ plans that cost more because of the dangers associated with the job and/or because they live in an area where insurance traditionally is more costly, not necessarily because they offer more generous benefits.  

We believe the effect of the tax would be that either your employer would pass the cost of the tax on to you or they would attempt to cut your benefits to avoid the tax.  Either way, our members would be negatively affected by the excise tax.

Almost without exception, our members are already being asked to pay more for health care benefits.  We are working to ensure that this excise tax will not be enacted when a final health care bill is signed by President Obama. 

On November 5, the IAFF will be joining the AFL-CIO and other labor unions in a nationwide “Day of Action” campaign to communicate our strong opposition to an excise tax. The goal is to mobilize union members across the nation to generate thousands of phone calls, faxes and emails to members of Congress until real health care reform for workers is enacted. 

Click here for more information about the Day of Action.

The IAFF is urging its members to contact their senators on November 5 and tell them not to finance health care reform on the backs of workers and to leave this excise tax out of the health care reform bill.

Read The New York Times story, “AFL-CIO Members to Press Congress on Health Legislation

On October 7, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill calling for Congress to seek alternative sources of revenue. Watch the press conference

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