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FEDERAL AND STATE HEALTHCARE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

FEDERAL AND STATE HEALTHCARE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

HEALTHCARE HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION LEGISLATION , both the, both Federal thegovernment Federal government and the State and the of California State of California are working are on working passing onalternative passing alternative healthcare healthcare legislation legislation to the Affordable to the Affordable Care Act Care (ACA). Act (ACA). On the Federal On thefront, Federal thefront, American the American Health Care Health Act Care (AHCA), Act (AHCA), the recently the recently proposedproposed legislation legislation to repeal to and repeal replace andthe replace ACA,the narrowly ACA, narrowly passed the passed the House ofHouse Representative of Representative on May 4th. on May Some 4th. of the Some keyofprovisions the key provisions of this Bill of this Bill include eliminating include eliminating the insurance the insurance mandate,mandate, allowing allowing states to states file waivers to file waivers requiringrequiring insuranceinsurance companies companies to cover patients to cover with patients pre-existing with pre-existing conditions, conditions, eliminating eliminating income-based income-based tax credits, taxand credits, allowing and allowing insurers to insurers offer policies to offer policies that havethat annual haveorannual lifetime orbenefit lifetimelimits. benefit The limits. AHCA Thewill AHCA now will headnow to the head to the Senate where Senate it will where most it will likely most facelikely considerable face considerable challenges challenges and amendments. and amendments. In addition In addition to replacing to replacing the ACA,the theACA, current theadministration current administration was was also looking alsoat looking ways to attax ways your to tax healthcare your healthcare benefits. benefits. Two months Two months ago, during ago,the during opening the session openingofsession the IAFF of the Legislative IAFF Legislative Conference, Conference, Firefighters Firefighters from throughout from throughout the country the listened country to listened to how some how congressional some congressional leaders had leaders proposed had proposed submitting submitting a plan a plan to tax every to tax workers’ every workers’ healthcare healthcare benefits. benefits. Fortunately, Fortunately, a coalition a coalition of unionsof(including unions (including the IAFF) the rallied IAFF)against ralliedthis against ill-conceived this ill-conceived plan andplan forced and the forced legislators the legislators to drop this to drop tax initiative. this tax initiative. The The healthcare healthcare tax exclusion tax exclusion is the single is the largest singlefederal largesttax federal breaktax break and accounts and accounts for more for than more $250 than billion $250annually. billion annually. A tax which A tax hasn’t which been hasn’t dropped been dropped is the Cadillac is the Tax Cadillac – a tax Tax – a tax on high-cost, on high-cost, employer-sponsored employer-sponsored health plans health (such plans as (such the as the Local 1014 Local Health 1014Plan). Health Under Plan). the Under AHCA, thethe AHCA, Cadillac the Tax, Cadillac Tax, which is which set to start is setinto2025, start in imposes 2025, imposes a 40 percent a 40excise percent taxexcise tax on employers’ on employers’ plans that plans costthat morecost than more $10,200 than for $10,200 individuals for individuals and $27,500 and for $27,500 families. for families. This tax This wouldtax most would certainly most certainly impact impact our plan our andplan members. and members. Nobody should Nobodyhave should to be have penalized to be penalized for securing for securing better healthcare better healthcare coverage coverage for themselves for themselves and theirand loved their ones. loved ones. At the State At the level, State newlevel, amendments new amendments to the single-payer to the single-payer healthcare healthcare system system proposal proposal (SB-562 The (SB-562 Healthy The California Healthy California Act) wereAct) introduced were introduced on Marchon March 30th. The30th. universal The universal healthcare healthcare system would system bewould run bybethe runState by the of California State of California and would and cover would all cover medical all expenses medical expenses includingincluding dental, vision, dental,and vision, and prescription prescription drugs fordrugs every for resident every resident of the State. of the Co-pays, State. Co-pays, premiums, premiums, and and deductibles deductibles would bewould eliminated, be eliminated, and patients and patients would not would be required not be required to to obtain referrals obtain referrals to see eligible to seeproviders. eligible providers. Health insurance Health insurance providersproviders would would also be prohibited also be prohibited from offering from benefits offering that benefits cover that thecover samethe services same services availableavailable through the through State.the Although State. Although these new these amendments new amendments were recently were recently introduced, introduced, the reality theis reality that universal is that universal healthcare healthcare for all is cost for allprohibitive is cost prohibitive without identifying without identifying a true funding a true source. funding source. Regardless Regardless of the discussions of the discussions taking place taking at the place Federal at theor Federal State level, or State restlevel, rest assured that assured the Board that the of Board Trustees of Trustees remains vigilant remainsand vigilant is committed and is committed to to maintaining maintaining the long the tradition long tradition of providing of providing excellentexcellent coverage coverage for Firefighters for Firefighters and theirand families. their families. In the meantime, In the meantime, we’ll be monitoring we’ll be monitoring the progress the progress of all of all legislativelegislative proposals, proposals, and keepand youkeep informed you informed of any new of any developments new developments that that could potentially could potentially impact our impact members’ our members’ health coverage. health coverage.

1014 Health Line -Spring 2017  
1014 Health Line -Spring 2017