"Cadillac tax" on health plans brings opposing parties together for challenge

Ordinarily, unions and big business leaders are on opposite sides of the table, especially when the nation is in the middle of changes as significant as what reform may bring. This time around, however, the two interest groups have come together to oppose a measure that both feel will pinch them hard.

Unions and big business leaders have come together to oppose a proposed 40 percent excise tax on high-premium health plans, dubbed "Cadillac health plans" during the ongoing debate. The tax would consist of a levy of 40 percent on premiums above $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family. Members of Congress say that this tax can raise $149 billion over 10 years.

Union leaders say that such a tax could lead to high cost increases for health insurance or big benefit cuts. Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argues that such a tax is "irresponsible and dangerous" and that its members will pay most of the costs of this measure.

More likely to be harmed, some analysts say, are middle class Americans who pay high premiums because they must to keep their coverage. These people, who are caught in the middle, are likely to be the focus of some debate as well.

Learn more about this dispute:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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