K Street coalition launches blitz against ObamaCare 'Cadillac tax'

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

A coalition of K Street health giants are teaming up to fight the ObamaCare tax on high-cost insurance plans known as the “Cadillac tax."

The newly launched campaign, called the Alliance to Fight the Forty, includes more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, insurance plans and unions including Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Laborers International Union.

The group, led by the American Benefits Council, filed a lobbying registration Friday afternoon.

Efforts to fight the Cadillac tax have amplified in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling affirming the Affordable Care Act late last month. With no major court challenges remaining against the law, lobbyists are redoubling their efforts to peel back particularly unfavorable provisions.

Some of those, like the Cadillac tax, now have bipartisan support for repeal, though the Obama administration maintains that it will not agree to make any changes to the law that don't strengthen the law. 

The 40 percent tax applies to health plans that are worth above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage, which ObamaCare supporters argue impacts only the wealthiest Americans.

But Republicans, and a growing number of Democrats, argue that the tax also hits middle-class families in areas where healthcare costs are higher, such as New England and the West Coast.

The tax, which is intended to help finance ObamaCare, has been significantly scaled-down from the Senate-passed healthcare bill. Under that bill, individuals with $8,500-a-year plans and families with $23,000-a-year would have faced the tax.

The House-passed bill did not include the tax, meeting the demands of nearly 200 Democrats who had opposed it. The House version became law.