By Sarah Ferris - 09/17/15 12:41 PM EDT
A bipartisan pair of senators introduced a bill Thursday to repeal ObamaCare’s “Cadillac Tax," which they argue unfairly targets people receiving employer healthcare benefits.
The legislation by Sens. Dean HellerDean HellerLake Mead hits record low water level Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump Press: Forget about GOP unity in 2016 MORE (R-Nev.) and Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichOvernight Energy: Senate Dems block energy, water bill a third time Bison declared national mammal The myth of favorite son and daughter vice presidents MORE (D-N.M.) helps build momentum for the years-old campaign to eliminate the tax, which has already earned bipartisan support in the House.
“My hope is that reasonable members of Congress on both sides of the aisle will join us in this important, bipartisan endeavor to protect middle-class Americans,” Heller wrote in a statement.
The repeal effort has been championed in the House by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), who argues that the tax hits people the hardest in more expensive areas, like the Northeast and West Coast.
All three lawmakers gathered for a press conference Thursday to announce the Senate’s companion version of the bill. The House bill, announced this spring, has yet to see a vote in the chamber unlike other bills repealing pieces of ObamaCare, like the Medical Device Tax.
Repealing the tax has been at the center of intense lobbying by groups ranging from unions to insurance agencies, which have recently formed a coalition called Alliance to Fight the 40.
Leaders of that group were quick to applaud the new legislation in the Senate.
“Repealing the 40 percent tax, thereby preserving high-quality employer-sponsored health coverage, should and would be a bipartisan, bicameral success story,” American Benefits Council President James Klein wrote in a statement, distributed by the coalition.