Everyone from Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, wants to scrap the “Cadillac tax” on generous health care plans — a rare bipartisan push to tweak Obamacare — but there is little consensus on how to fill the $90 billion budget hole that a repeal would leave.
The disagreement threatens to derail one of Republicans’ best chances to chip away at the health care law, which President Obama has successfully defended from most changes.
Slated to go into effect in 2018, the tax will apply to expensive health care plans — the kinds that labor unions often negotiate for their members. That gives Democrats an incentive to support a repeal.
Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who is challenging Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination, says a surtax on the wealthiest Americans should do the trick. Mrs. Clinton says her overall health care plans, which would expand Obamacare, would produce enough savings to “more than cover” the repeal.
Mr. Ryan, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, wants to go the other direction by trimming Obamacare and using the savings to pay for the repeal.