A bipartisan group of lawmakers is requesting a meeting with President Obama to discuss repealing ObamaCare’s “Cadillac Tax.”
Sens. Dean HellerDean HellerMnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing MORE (R-Nev.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers Mnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing MORE (D-Ohio), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichWhat we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Senators introduce dueling miners bills Interior pick walks fine line on climate, highlights conservation MORE (D-N.M.) and Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) and Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) wrote to President Obama on Tuesday requesting a meeting “as soon as possible.”
“Finding a path forward on the repeal of this provision is a bipartisan and bicameral end-of-year priority for each of us and a large number of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” the lawmakers write. “As we continue to negotiate the repeal of this tax in pending, must-pass legislative packages in Congress, we respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss a plan to eliminate this tax.”
Repealing the tax is also a priority of Democratic leadership in both chambers. Republicans are against the tax as well, but many could be reluctant to hand Democrats a win on an issue they view as created by Democrats.
The lawmakers indicate in the letter that they are looking to include repeal of the tax in a larger package.
Heller on Tuesday gave a speech on the Senate floor suggesting that Cadillac Tax repeal could be included in a package renewing a range of tax breaks known as “tax extenders.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended the tax earlier this month as a way to bring down healthcare costs and to pay for the Affordable Care Act.
He also noted, though, that, “We are always in a position to have conversations with people that have an authentic interest in strengthening the Affordable Care Act.”
The tax is projected to bring in $91 billion over ten years.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGOP eyes new push to break up California court Overnight Defense: Senate to vote on defense picks Friday | 41 detainees left at Gitmo | North Korea may be prepping missile launch Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers MORE (R-Utah) earlier this month noted that is “a lot of money” and makes paying for repeal a challenge.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Trump Treasury pick to defend foreclosure record MORE (D-Ill.), though, has suggested that repeal of the tax would not need to be paid for.
The lawmakers on the letter warn that employers will increase the deductibles and other out of pocket expenses that employees have to pay in a bid to avoid hitting the tax. The tax hits plans with costs that exceed $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families.
Defenders of the tax argue that it gives employers an incentive to support payment reforms and efficiencies to bring down the cost of healthcare, and that to a certain extent increased cost-sharing from employees gives them an incentive to seek out more efficient, lower-cost care.