By Sarah Ferris - 12/09/15 03:08 PM EST
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that the Obama administration would “strongly oppose” any efforts to repeal ObamaCare’s so-called Cadillac tax, but stopped short of a full veto threat.
While Earnest said he would not comment on ongoing negotiations, he delivered his strongest criticism yet of efforts to repeal — or at least pause — the Cadillac tax as part of the year-end tax extenders package.
“I’m not going down the list of what we’ll veto or what we won’t,” he said. “Once we see a final bill, then we can give you some guidance.”
GOP leaders are working to negotiate a two-year delay of the “Cadillac” tax on high-valued healthcare plans along with a two-year pause of the medical device tax, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told reporters Tuesday.
The two ObamaCare tax provisions have now become sticking points to a deal. Both sides expressed optimism on Tuesday that they could reach a deal, though buy-in from the White House is still needed.
Democats leading the push, such as Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), said the White House has reiterated its opposition in meetings with staffers over the last month,
“Their public statements pretty much match up their private statements,” Courtney told The Hill last week.
On the medical device tax, Earnest repeated that the administration would oppose the repeal of any tax intended to finance the law.
“One of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is that it contributes significantly to deficit reduction. Imposing that tax is one way we enjoy that benefits,” he said.