WASHINGTON -- The head of the AFL-CIO says he's willing to consider a tax on high-value health insurance plans -- something labor has vehemently opposed -- if middle-class workers aren't hurt.
The comments by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka indicated new flexibility on the issue from a powerful Democratic constituency as the House and Senate are on the verge of debating sweeping health care legislation.
The insurance plan tax is the Senate's preferred method to pay for covering the uninsured. But the tax has run into trouble with organized labor. Labor leaders worry that workers would be affected even though lawmakers aimed the proposed tax at insurance plans offering the richest benefits.