Stabenow hoping ‘Cadillac tax’ will be relaxed during conference

By Michael O’Brien
The Hill
12/21/09

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.

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