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Senate approves bill repealing ACA’s Cadillac tax

It’s unlikely to make it passed President Obama’s desk, but Thursday evening the Senate passed legislation repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate passed the health care reform law-related provisions in the broader budget reconciliation bill – H.R. 3762. The bill passed the House of Representatives in October, and is excpected to accept the Senate measure.

Provisions, as laid out by BusinessInsurance.com, include:

• Repeal of the 40% excise tax, set to begin in 2018, on the portion of group health care plan premiums that exceed $10,200 f. or single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. That provision was added, on a 90-10 vote, to the broader bill, and replaces an earlier version that would have only ended the tax through 2025. The Senate vote “is another strong bipartisan recognition that this tax must be repealed to preserve employer-sponsored health coverage,” James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council in Washington, said in a statement.

• Elimination of the $2,000-per-employee penalty employers face if they do not offer coverage to at least 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and to 95% in 2016 and succeeding years.

• Elimination of the $3,000 penalty for each employee who is eligible for a federal premium subsidy and uses it to purchase coverage in a public health insurance exchange. That penalty is triggered if the portion of the premium an employer charges for single coverage exceeds 9.5% of an employee’s household income and the employee is eligible for and uses a federal premium subsidy to purchase coverage in a public exchange.

• Elimination of the 2.3% federal excise tax imposed on manufacturers of medical devices.

RELATED:  5 signs the Cadillac tax may be repealed

The White House has said President Obama plans to veto the measure. And with the legislation narrowly passing the Senate, there’s not expected to be enough votes to overturn a presidential veto.

However, some of the health care law repeal provisions could be included in so-called “must pass” legislation to extend expiring tax code provisions. Observers say such a bill could emerge next week.