Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Joe Courtney Receive 2016 Public Service Award in Employee Benefits

Washington D.C. – Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) each received the 2016 Public Service Award from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans today at the International Foundation's annual Washington Legislative Update. The Public Service Award recognizes elected representatives and other public officials for their support of employee benefits. Courtney and Heller accepted the award today in Washington, D.C.

"The International Foundation's Government Liaison Committee selected two recipients this year," said Jim Klein, President of the American Benefits Council and long-serving member of the Foundation's Government Liaison Committee. "Bringing different political perspectives, the committee felt it was important to acknowledge the efforts of both Courtney and Heller, as they work toward improving America's health care system."

Heller and Courtney are working on efforts to improve health care access and affordability for plan sponsors and the American public at large. In fall of 2015, they introduced a bill that would abolish the Affordable Care Act's Cadillac Tax, a 40% excise tax on health plans. They recognize the health care system's shortcomings, and believe the ACA's Cadillac tax places an excessive burden on businesses and health plans.

Courtney is perhaps best known for his tireless work on behalf of our veterans and for seeking a solution that helps Americans access health care, without causing an unfair challenge for businesses and workers. He serves on the House Education and Workforce Committee.

As a former member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Heller has fought for policies that preserve Medicare and Social Security, and he plans on continuing this effort by serving on the Senate Aging Committee. Among his numerous efforts to improve the health care system, Heller has worked to make health care more accessible to veterans in rural communities.

The Foundation's Washington Legislative Update, held May 23 and 24 at the Capital Hilton, is an annual event that helps keep employee benefit specialists aware of the latest regulatory changes affecting the benefits industry. Participants hear from political and policy insiders on how events in Washington will impact their organizations.

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The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The Foundation has more than 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit www.ifebp.org.