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The Obama administration is willing to consider changes to the health care reform law's excise tax also known as the “Cadillac” tax, the White House's top spokesman says.
“We are always in a position to have conversations with people that have an authentic interest in strengthening the Affordable Care Act,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday during a briefing.
Referring to the excise tax, Mr. Earnest said President Obama “has never taken the position that there aren't creative ways to further improve upon and strengthen the Affordable Care Act. And if people have ideas for doing that, then we're open to that conversation.”
Still, he defended the provision that is to impose a 40% excise tax starting in 2018 on the portion of group health care plan premiums that exceed $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.
Exposure to the excise tax “gives employers with high-cost plans an incentive to make those plans more efficient,” Mr. Earnest said.
Mr. Earnest's comments came in the wake of the House of Representatives passing a budget bill last month with a provision that repeals the excise tax. That measure, H.R. 3762, is expected to be considered by the Senate within the next several weeks.
The likelihood of Congress passing legislation to repeal the health care reform law's “Cadillac” tax is deteriorating amid an unlikely loss of support: conservative Republicans.