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Group Slams Report of GOP Health Plan to Tax Workers While Rich Get Richer

'If true, the GOP healthcare repeal plan means the rich will get richer, millions will lose their healthcare, and workers will pick up the tab'

Repeal legislation may start to take shape this week. (Photo: Ted Eytan/flickr/cc)

The GOP's plan for repealing the American Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, reportedly includes replacing taxes on corporations and the wealthy with taxes on the middle class—forcing workers to pick up the tab for the cost of axing healthcare for millions of people, an advocacy group warned Monday.

Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF)—a coalition of hundreds of organizations including the AFL-CIO, the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, Main Street Alliance, National Council of La Raza, SEIU, and the Working Families Party—issued the statement in response to reporting last Thursday that the repeal plan would impose $200 billion in new taxes on middle-class workers by taxing their health benefits for the first time ever.

"House Republicans want to tax workers' healthcare benefits rather than continue to require the wealthiest Americans and big healthcare corporations to help finance health care for 20 million people now getting covered under the ACA. If true, the GOP healthcare repeal plan means the rich will get richer, millions will lose their healthcare, and workers will pick up the tab," said ATF executive director Frank Clemente.

Congressional Quarterly (CQ) reporters Erin Mershon and Joe Williams wrote last Thursday that Republican leaders in both chambers are seeking to cap the tax exclusion employers receive for providing healthcare, which they say would "bring in" about $20 billion a year.

That's on top of the $525 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years that would get issued to wealthy households and Big Pharma, according to the AFT's analysis of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data.

"When Republicans talk about 'repeal and replace,' now we know they mean replace taxes on billionaires and big corporations with taxes on working families," Clemente said Monday. "The Republican plan would tax, for the first time ever, worker health benefits provided by their employers. Even workers who pay 100 percent of the cost of their own coverage under an employer-provided plan would be taxed."

"It's outrageous that Republicans plan to tax workers' health benefits to give huge tax breaks to those at the top and to prescription drug and insurance corporations," he said.

The Hill separately reported Monday that the repeal legislation, which has been kept secret thus far, may start getting markups this week.

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