House votes to repeal ObamaCare's 'Cadillac tax'

House votes to repeal ObamaCare's 'Cadillac tax'

The House on Wednesday voted to repeal ObamaCare’s “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost health plans, removing a part of the health law opposed by many in both parties.

The wide bipartisan vote of 419-6 illustrates how the tax is one of the few areas of ObamaCare that has opposition across the political aisle.

The tax was designed to help keep health care costs down by discouraging overly-generous “Cadillac” health insurance plans. But both unions and employers opposed the tax, helping to set up a broad coalition against it.

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With former President Obama out of office, the main defenders of the tax are now health economists, who say it is a valuable tool to control health care spending.

Repealing the tax will cost the government the hefty sum of $196.9 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. 

“After a decade of fiercely debating the merits of the Affordable Care Act, I hope we have turned a corner today and can now focus on strengthening the parts of the law that work in the manner we'd intended and changing the parts of the law — which is not unusual — that we believe could be improved,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices MORE (D-Mass.), praising the bill.

The timing of Wednesday's vote was aided by a new centrist-backed House rule designed to force votes on bills that have wide bipartisan support, or at least 290 co-sponsors. The Cadillac Tax repeal bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe CourtneyJoseph (Joe) D. CourtneyHouse passes bill tackling workplace violence in health care, social services sectors This week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings State dinner highlights the enduring importance of US-Australia alliance MORE (D-Conn.), had 369 co-sponsors.

“I'm sure people are back home saying, ‘They can't do anything,’” said Rep. Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyAlcohol industry races to save tax break by year-end deadline Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive Genetic counselors save health care dollars when involved in the testing process MORE (R-Pa.). “Well I'm here to tell you, today that's just not true. You are going to see a bipartisan effort today.”

The Cadillac Tax had never actually gone into effect, given that Congress repeatedly delayed it when it came close to taking effect. The vote Wednesday would fully repeal it, though it remains unclear whether the Senate will also bring the bill up for a vote.