Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac” tax, opposing a piece of Obama’s health care law for the first time.
Until now, Clinton has repeatedly stressed her support for the law, pointing to its successes and advocating for further implementation, such as Medicaid expansion. In doing so, she has planted herself in the middle of a debate that also features Sen. Bernie Sanders to the left advocating for a single-payer system and Republicans to the right who want to repeal and replace Obamacare in its entirety.
Clinton’s announcement comes amid a flurry of action on the Hill to do exactly what she has proposed. Several Senate Democrats introduced a repeal of the tax last week, and Sens. Dean Heller and Martin Heinrich had introduced a bipartisan repeal bill earlier this month.
The Cadillac tax is a 40 percent excise tax on employer-provided health benefits that exceed a certain threshold. It was included in the ACA as a way to control health care costs, help pay for the law, and address government revenue lost by the tax exclusion of employer-provided health care plans.
Policy-wise, the difference between Clinton’s proposal and the Democrats’ Senate bill is that hers suggests a way to replace the revenue the tax is expected to bring in: her previous health care proposals released last week that largely targeted pharmaceutical companies and insurers. The Senate bill, led by Sen. Sherrod Brown, requires a pay-for but does not specifically suggest one.