SAG Signs on to Union Letter to Congress "Don't Tax Our Benefits"

SAG Signs on to Union Letter to Congress "Don't Tax Our Benefits"

We applaud your efforts to expand affordable health care coverage to more Americans and to reform the health insurance industry.  The progress that has been made thus far is the direct result of your hard work and the perseverance of you and your colleagues.  Your collective efforts have brought us closer to real reform than any other major effort of the past 50 years.

However, we are deeply troubled by the provisions of the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee that would levy a new tax against so-called “Cadillac plans.”  The individual unions and guilds of the entertainment industry have struggled and sacrificed for decades to negotiate and defend their own Taft-Hartley health insurance plans.  By taxing those plans, the Senate Finance Committee bill would place catastrophic burdens on maintaining the benefits that our members have fought so hard to win and preserve.

Also, for decades our individual guilds and unions have had to forgo wage increases and other benefits simply to maintain the current level of health benefits for our members.  It is a choice our members were forced to make over and over at the bargaining table – affordable health care versus better wages – and our members chose health care for themselves and their families every time. Should Congress vote to tax our health plans, it will not only jeopardize our ability to keep our plans solvent, it will also nullify the decades of sacrifices made in collective bargaining. That would be wrong.

We wholeheartedly support your efforts to fix our country’s health care system.  But we hope you agree that levying a tax on the health plans of millions of middle-class Americans who have made tremendous sacrifices to win and preserve those plans is unfair and should not be part of the solution to our country’s health care crisis.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and please feel free to contact any of us if you need additional information or clarification.

Sincerely,

John Wells               
President               
Writers Guild of America, West 

Ken Howard
Prsident 
Screen Actors Guild

Michael J. Winship           
President               
Writers Guild of America, East

Leo Reed
Director, Motion Picture Division
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

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