In a closed door meeting at the White House on Jan. 6, President Obama reportedly expressed to top Democratic members of the House that he prefers a tax on high-cost health insurance plans as a means of extending insurance to the many Americans currently without coverage.
The so-called "Cadillac" tax is a feature of the Senate version of the healthcare bill, something most House Democrats oppose. The financing method that the House adopted in their legislation would involve an income tax hike on the wealthy.
The Senate’s bill, which the president reportedly prefers, would tax insurance companies on plans valued at $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for couples. Many analysts, and some members of the House, believe that those costs would trickle down to the consumer and would violate the president’s pledge to avoid taxing the middle class, according to Fox News.
Meanwhile, House Republicans put out a statement deriding Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the apparent closed door process of developing the legislation.
"C-SPAN is practically begging the Democrats to make their deliberations public (like President Obama repeatedly promised on the campaign trail), but so far all they’ve offered in response are Orwellian claims about the most open process ever," the statement read, quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "Frankly, Madam Speaker, you should stop insulting Americans’ intelligence."