Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said on Monday she's hopeful that the taxes on high-value insurance plans in the Senate's health bill might be relaxed.

Stabenow said she's hoping the co-called "Cadillac tax," a key financing mechanism in the Senate's bill, will be eased in conference with the House's bill, which prefers an income tax on millionaires.

"It's still not right and it's something I want to see fixed in the conference report," Stabenow said during an appearance on MSNBC. "Sen. Reid's bill made a lot of progress from what the Finance Committee did, and I'm very hopeful we will see the ceiling so if doesn't hit the people you're talking about that certainly I'm concerned about."


The taxes have faced vocal opposition from labor groups, which have expressed concern that the tax on benefits would disproportionately fall on unionized workers, who sometimes receive generous health benefits in their contracts. Democratic lawmakers have defended the Cadillac tax as a mechanism to control healthcare inflation.

Stabenow said she would like to see "kind of a mix" between the House and Senate financing mechanisms, though Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who provided Democrats with the 60th vote to proceed with the health bill, warned that any move toward the House's income tax model would lose his vote.

"That would break it," Nelson told CNN of his deal with Democratic leaders when asked if an income tax on people making over $500,000 per year would lose his vote.

"I would prefer to do something other than taxing what they call 'Cadillac plans' -- frankly, there's a lot of Chevys in those," Stabenow said Monday. "I would certainly support moving away from that."