Last night, Obama administration officials, and the President himself, met with the most influential leaders in organized labor to brainstorm ways to fix to a controversial provision in congressional health care legislation, roundly opposed by unions. And it appears the White House is trying to hit the right notes to keep its fragile alliance with unions alive.
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At issue is whether there's any way to square the administration's support for a tax on high-end health care plans--a major source of funds--with the concern, articulated by myriad progressives and union officials, that the tax will impact many middle class Americans, and ultimately ensnare more and more of them.
"My understanding it was really discussions surrounding policy fixes that could, to at least try to delay the impact and look at maybe raising the threshold a little more," said one top labor official briefed on the meeting.
"Secretary Sebelius was there for part of the discussion," the official went on. "They are exploring, at least, some modifications that might take into account some collectively bargained plans, maybe trying to tie some exclusion for plans that are covered by a collective bargaining agreement."