AFSCME District Council 36

Health Care Committee

Drug companies are overcharging California taxpayers by billions of dollars each year for life-saving medicine. As healthcare access expands, California must begin to use our massive bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices for taxpayers.

In an unusual show of bi-partisan action, one of the last acts of Congress in 2015 was to postpone to 2020 the implementation of the Excise (“Cadillac”) tax on good health plans that is part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Congressional action was included in the omnibus spending deal known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. The tax scheduled to take effect in 2018 was already exerting pressure on employers to degrade plans in an effort to lower the overall costs and avoid the 40% tax on plan costs above a certain threshold. (See “Will Looming Tax Threaten Decent Health Plans?”) Read more >>>

Among the good, mixed and complicated provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is an Excise tax on health plans valued at more than $10,200 individual/$27,500 family that's scheduled to take effect in 2018. For the most part, decent healthcare plans that have been negotiated by unions and are offered to public employees in California, including retirees, exceed these thresholds. The tax will be 40% on the dollars that exceed these amounts. Providers (not individuals) of the coverage are responsible for the tax and have already been trying to negotiate cheaper plans that would not be taxed. These providers are employers, trust funds, retirement systems, and insurance companies that offer the plans and collect the premiums, be they from employers or workers. Read more >>>

Health Care Committee meets three to four times a year with special programs to keep our members informed and current on healthcare developments and actions. If you would like to receive meeting notices and occasional bulletins sign up by emailing Lenny at or by calling 213/252-1351.

Click here to find a meeting to attend in the coming months.

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