Saturday, October 24, 2009

Millions of federal employees might be exempt from health benefits tax

Democrats are looking for ways to exclude a bevy of big groups from their proposal to tax so-called Cadillac health insurance plans. So far the list of groups seeking exclusions include labor unions, firefighters, coal miners and other high risk occupations. At this point, is there anyone else left to tax who has one of those big insurance policies? Oh right. Federal employees. Well, now some members of Congress want to carve out an exclusion for them as well. Reps. Jerry Connolly and Jim Moran, two Democrats from the federal employee haven of Northern Virginia, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressing concern that the Senate health care proposal, which includes the tax, "may adversely affect health coverage for federal employees and retirees." Connolly and Moran explain in the letter that the Congressional Research Services has provided them with data indicating that the cost of Federal Employees Health Benefits Plans used by federal employees is close to the threshold ($8,000 per individual and $21,000 per family) that would trigger the proposed 40 percent excise more

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