According to the Associated Press, yesterday President Obama warned House Democratic leaders to end their opposition to taxing “Cadillac” health care plans in order to pay for the high costs of health care reform. It was reported that dozens of Congressional leaders opposed the tax included in the Senate’s legislation, but after Obama expressed his preference for the bill many are expecting Democratic leaders to get behind the new tax.
House Democrats want to raise income taxes on high-income individuals instead and are reluctant to abandon that approach, while recognizing that they will have to bend on that and other issues so that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., can maintain his fragile 60-vote majority support for the bill.
Pelosi and four committee chairmen met with the president Wednesday as they scrambled to resolve differences between sweeping bills passed by the House and Senate. The aim is to finalize legislation revamping the nation's health care system in time for Obama's State of the Union address early last month.
Despite the dispute over the payment approach, Pelosi, D-Calif., emerged from the meeting expressing optimism.
"We've had a very intense couple of days," Pelosi said. "After our leadership meeting this morning, our staff engaged with the Senate and the administration staff to review the legislation, suggest legislative language. I think we're very close to reconciliation."