Screenwriters Union Wants Exemption from Obamacare ‘Cadillac Tax’

Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters
Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) filed comments Thursday with the IRS and the Treasury Department, calling for an exemption from a hefty excise tax on health plans that the union is mandated to pay by the Affordable Care Act.

The union reportedly wants an exemption from Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40 percent excise tax that applies to employers that offer premium health care plans to employees, reports Deadline. The tax is scheduled to take effect in 2018.

“President Obama’s signature law has succeeded in bringing health care to millions of uninsured Americans,” the union said in its statement. “In order to avoid a deeply regressive result that is contrary to the stated purpose of the Affordable Care Act, collectively bargained health plans must be exempt from this huge excise tax. This is the only way to ensure that working people who made the rational decision to bargain for a reasonable level of benefits from their employers do not lose their benefits.”

The guild reportedly added that “the Cadillac Tax would strip away benefits from the basic package of compensation guild members have struggled for decades to win for themselves and their families.”

The Cadillac Tax reportedly applies to health plans at the $10,200 level for individuals and $27,500 level for families, and Deadline reports that many entertainment industry union health plans exceed that level of coverage.

In February 2014, WGA East hosted a panel in New York for union members called “The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama, and Reality: Portraying Obamacare in TV & Film” that was intended to explain the complex health care law to television and film writers, so they could better incorporate it into projects.


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