Mr. Gruber also implicitly acknowledged that calling the excise tax a “Cadillac” tax is misleading, as the tax’s reach will expand. “Over time it’s gonna apply to more and more health-insurance plans,” he said, elaborating in a separate speech that the “tax that starts out hitting only 8% of the insurance plans essentially amounts over the next 20 years [to] essentially getting rid of the exclusion for employer-sponsored plans.”
This means that eventually the excise tax will affect an increasing number of workers who don’t have top-flight health insurance. By 2031 the cost of the average family health-care plan is expected to hit the excise-tax threshold. The tax’s creeping reach is reminiscent of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was originally designed to hit only the wealthiest taxpayers but now nails the middle class.