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Labor campaigns against tax on health plans

New York Times, January 13, 2010

Having failed to persuade President Obama to scrap a proposed tax on high-cost health insurance policies, labor leaders took their case to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and they said they received a more favorable response, the New York Times reports. Under the Senate bill, the federal government would impose a 40% tax on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage exceeding $8,500 a year for an individual and $23,000 for a family. Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said that many workers with plans costing more than $23,000 a year did not have luxurious coverage. At a White House meeting earlier this week, he said, labor leaders told President Obama that some workers with rather ordinary health plans had to pay very high premiums because insurance companies faced little competition, reports the Times.