U.S. spending bill to repeal health taxes, extend Ex-Im Bank

Congressional spending bills are expected to permanently repeal the “Cadillac tax” and other taxes funding the Affordable Care Act, raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, and extend the U.S. Export-Import Bank for seven years, according to a senior House Democratic aide familiar with the talks.

The talks are continuing, the aide said.

Other Obamacare taxes that would be repealed are a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices and a health insurance industry fee, the aide said Monday. The “Cadillac tax” is a 40 percent excise tax on the most generous and expensive health-insurance plans.

These taxes, which have been delayed previously, highlight the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats in Congress, who are keen to support the Affordable Care Act but also wary of raising taxes on heath care costs.

The spending bills, expected to be unveiled later Monday, would provide the $1.4 trillion needed to operate the government through next September and avoid a shutdown of the U.S. government after Dec. 20.

The bills are the result of weeks of bipartisan talks between Democratic and Republican lawmakers and the White House. The House plans to vote Tuesday on them, with the Senate voting before the Friday deadline.

Erik Wasson and Laura Davison
Bloomberg News