POLITICS

Union Leaders Head Back To White House For Health Care Talks

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A group of union headers, who met with the president on Monday, traveled back to the White House again on Wednesday to hammer out an agreement on the most contentious issues regarding health care reform, a union source confirms.

On the docket are continued discussions about how to pay for health care legislation -- specifically whether the final product should include a tax on high-cost insurance plans (which unions oppose).

The source says the leaders are "continuing to have productive discussions with White House and Congress to make the bill one that is worthy of being called health care reform." On the specifics, nothing additional was offered.

That said, the contours of a compromise are beginning to form. Negotiators are poised to raise the threshold of the tax, making it so that family plans valued at $25,000 (not $23,000) are now taxed. In exchange, a small tax would be placed on the wealthy to help fill in the funding hole created by raising the tax threshold. There is also talk of exempting all collectively bargained health care plans from the so-called Cadillac tax.

There is no word yet as to whether this would be acceptable for union leaders. White House officials, meanwhile, have refused to comment about ongoing negotiations.

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