White House Backs Senate On 'Cadillac' Health Tax
Advisers outline cost control measures for health plan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2009 8:48 AM CST
"We are in favor of a fiscally responsible reform bill that includes these four pillars," White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told reporters.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The White House has come down firmly on the Senate's side over big discrepancies between the House and Senate health bills. Senior advisers to President Obama said yesterday an excise tax on expensive, "Cadillac" health plans and a commission to control Medicare spending were among the “four pillars" essential to containing the cost of health care reform, the New York Times reports. Both measures appear in the Senate's bill but not the House's.

The other two pillars of the plan, which won backing this week from an influential group of economists, are deficit neutrality and a focus on providing better rather than more care. The excise tax outlined in the Senate bill would impose a 40% levy on the cost of employer-sponsored insurance policies over $8,500 for individuals, raising a projected $149 billion toward the bill's $848 billion cost over 10 years.