Heller understands that affordable care starts with real tax relief for the 
middle class

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) spoke on the Senate floor regarding his bipartisan effort to repeal the Cadillac Tax. During his speech, Heller emphasized the devastating impact this harmful tax would have on over a million middle-class Nevadans.

Click HERE or below to watch Senator Heller’s speech. 

Remarks as prepared:

Thank you Madam President, I want to take a few moments to discuss an issue, a different issue, but one that is on everybody’s mind and that is the status of Obamacare. Congress had made the first important step to repeal Obamacare. 

I was in the House of Representatives when Obamacare was passed into law. 

I opposed the law five times when I was in the House before it passed with zero bipartisan zero Republican support, and was signed into law. 

I opposed Obamacare because I feared that this law would increase costs, make it harder for patients to see a doctor, increase taxes on the middle class also increase taxes on seniors, and hurt the economy. 

Over the last seven years – all of these fears became a reality. 

A new Congress and a new Administration have heard the American people loud and clear. 

We must repeal Obamacare. 

And repealing Obamacare means repealing all of the taxes that go with it. 

Obamacare increased taxes on hardworking Americans by $1.1 trillion dollars. 

Higher taxes lead to more money being taken out of the pockets of hard working families. 

Health care costs have increased to a degree where I have heard from Nevadans across the state, of all ages and backgrounds, all with very similar concerns.

I want to take a moment to read an email I received just last week from a thirteen year old boy who lives in Las Vegas.

He said: I wanted to write an email to express my concerns about Obamacare and to hopefully persuade you in making a change.

My family used to have health insurance until Obamacare kicked in and forced my family to drop our insurance since it tripled the cost and wasn't affordable.

We are getting penalized for not having insurance. 

Since then we have had medical bills piling up. This is an issue with a lot of people and I don't know a lot about policies but I know that something needs to change for the good of the people. 

I've heard President Donald Trump will be addressing this issue. I just hope you will represent Nevada in favor of getting rid of Obamacare.

I can assure my constituents back home in Nevada, especially this thirteen year old boy advocating for his family, that I am committed to repealing Obamacare.

This young man’s parents had employer sponsored health coverage that took care of their family when they needed medical care.

And as a result of Obamacare, the costs were just too high to afford the health insurance they had.

One of the biggest drivers of cost increases on the middle class is the 40 percent excise tax on employee health benefits, better known as the “Cadillac tax.”

In Nevada, 1.3 million workers who have employer-sponsored health insurance plans will be hit by the Cadillac tax.

These are public employees in Carson City, these are service industry workers on the Strip in Las Vegas, these are small business owners and retirees across the state.

We’re talking about reduced benefits, increased premiums, and higher deductibles. 

When I first started working on this issue, I knew the devastating impact this tax would have on Nevadans – but I also knew that in order to get anything done, we needed a bipartisan effort.

I recruited my good friend Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico, and together we were able to gain huge support from both sides of the aisle.

During the highly partisan Reconciliation debate in 2015, where Congress successfully delivered an Obamacare repeal bill to President Obama’s desk – Senator Heinrich and I pushed our colleagues to include our legislation to fully repeal the Cadillac tax as an amendment.

Our amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, by a vote of 90 to 10. 

With this nearly unanimous vote, we were able to delay the Cadillac tax until 2020. 

This Congress, Senator Heinrich and I re-introduced, S. 58 “The Middle Class Health Benefit Repeal Act”, which fully repeals this bad tax. 

I hope that my Senate colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join Senator Heinrich’s bipartisanship on this issue and support our bill and get rid of the Cadillac tax once and for all. 

I know that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have a lot of differing opinions on the ACA. 

But one thing that we can agree on is that the Cadillac tax should be fully repealed. 

Now that we have passed an Obamacare repeal resolution, we will move into the next phase of the repeal process. 

The budget we just passed included Reconciliation instructions to the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Health Education Labor Pensions Committee to repeal Obamacare. 

We made a promise to repeal Obamacare, and now is it time to keep that promise.

This includes my legislation to fully repeal the Cadillac tax. 

The goal of health reform should be to lower costs for those who already have health benefits, and expand access to those who do not currently have coverage. 

Obamacare did not achieve either of those two goals. 

I am committed to ensuring the all Americans have access to high quality, affordable health care.

We must start by repealing the Cadillac tax. 

I want to thank Senator Heinrich for his continued leadership on this issue. 

Senator Heinrich continues to put his constituents above politics, and I know he shares my commitment to repealing this bad tax.

I also want to thank Congressman Kelly and Congressman Courtney for their leadership on the House side. 

I know that we are all eager to work together and get this bill to the finish line. 

I know we are all here to get this bill to the finish line. Thank you, Madam President. I
yield to the senior Senator from Texas.