Obama to House Dems: Back Cadillac Health Tax

Democrats reluctantly open to compromise
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2010 5:31 AM CST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks with fellow lawmakers outside the West Wing of the White House after meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010.   (Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – President Obama wants House Democratic leaders to drop their opposition to taxing Cadillac health insurance plans to pay for health coverage for the uninsured, he let them know in a private meeting at the White House yesterday. The health reform bill the House passed raises income taxes on high-income individuals instead of taxing high end plans, as the Senate bill does.

House Democrats oppose the tax on plans worth over $8,500 (or $23,000 for couples) as a tax on the middle class; Obama defends it as a way to drive down health costs, the AP reports. The House is likely have to bend on that and other issues so that Harry Reid can maintain his fragile 60-vote support in the Senate. Emerging from the meeting to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills, Nancy Pelosi said, "We've had a very intense couple of days. I think we're very close to reconciliation."

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