A tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans, scheduled to take effect in 2018, would never see the light of day if U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, gets his way.

“The excise tax is a poorly designed penalty that will put a dent in the pocketbooks of many families and businesses with health insurance plans that do not resemble the ‘Cadillac’ plans originally targeted when this policy was adopted — instead, the excise tax will punish people living in higher cost areas, with ‘Ford Focus’ level plans,” Courtney said in a release issued this week.

The tax would apply a 40-percent increase in cost on health insurance expenditures over $10,200 per person and $27,500 per family, should it go into effect. Originally part of the Affordable Care Act, implementation was delayed after a successful effort led by 191 House members, including Courtney.

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The tax is applied based on the cost of premiums, so Courtney and his supporters argue that it would blindly affect any healthcare customers with expensive premiums, including some older workers, women, and people who live in areas where health care costs are high.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada, said she is “proud to join Rep. Courtney in introducing the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act to ensure Nevadan families continue to receive quality, affordable employer-sponsored health coverage.”

Unless we start taking steps to repeal this excise tax, many families will be wrongly forced to decide between paying more for their health care or reducing the value of their employer-sponsored coverage plans,” Titus said.

According to Courtney spokeswoman Liz Donovan, Rep. Courtney’s bill, H.R. 2050, was introduced Tuesday and has 65 original co-sponsors, including three Republicans.

A similar bill — H.R. 879, Ax The Tax On Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act — was introduced Feb. 11 by New Hampshire Republican Rep. Frank Guinta. Guinta’s bill has 24 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

H.R. 2050 appears to be more comprehensive, adding language to conform to the tax code and ensuring that the repeal of the tax won’t leave any holes or outdated language in the law.

Jordan Fenster lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

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