We told you yesterday that the House was set to vote to repeal Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-provided insurance plans, with Democrats joining Republicans in a rare and surprising moment of bipartisanship to undo a plank of the health care law widely opposed by both business and labor.
The support for repealing the tax, set to go into effect in 2022, was overwhelming. The vote Wednesday evening was 419 to 6.
“Today, we’ll honor our promise to the hard-working men and women of the labor as we lift the Cadillac tax protecting health benefits that workers have negotiated,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.
Some health economists warned that repealing the tax would remove one of Obamacare’s main tools for lowering health care spending. “The full repeal of the Cadillac tax would eliminate one of the most consequential policy levers to actually lower health care costs,” Benedic Ippolito, a health economist at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Post. “When it comes to sensible policies about what to do about spending, ironically there’s bipartisan, bicameral agreement that we absolutely shouldn’t do anything.”
The cost: The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing the tax will add $197 billion to deficits over 10 years.
What’s next: “The Senate has a similar bill with bipartisan support, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet said whether he will bring it up for a vote,” the Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb reported. “McConnell has been reluctant to take up health-care legislation, Senate aides said, because Democrats probably would use the opportunity to criticize Republicans’ and the administration’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.”