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Obama administration opposes repeal of Cadillac tax

Spokesman says White House will resist Congress' push for changes

The Obama administration will "strongly oppose" efforts by Congress to repeal the Cadillac tax, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

When asked by reporters, Earnest said the White House will not support efforts to repeal or delay the Cadillac tax established under the Affordable Care Act, but stopped short of saying President Barack Obama will veto any such action, according to The Hill.

Earnest would not comment on ongoing negotiations over a broad package of tax extenders that lawmakers are trying to iron out this week that includes a two-year delay on the Cadillac tax, which is set to go into effect in 2018.

"I'm not going down the list of what we'll veto or what we won't," Earnest told reporters. "Once we see a final bill, then we can give you some guidance."

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are hoping to make some broad changes to the Cadillac tax by the end of the year, A bipartisan group of lawmakers support changes to the measure--which would levy a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans--but until now had not heard from the White House about whether it would support changes to the provision.

The effort to alter or repeal the tax has the support of a coalition of industry groups that includes health insurer Cigna, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Yet some economists support the tax, noting that it could push companies to offer higher wages or other benefits instead of rich insurance plans that encourage overuse of the healthcare system.

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