Unions tentatively struck a deal Tuesday to exempt collectively bargained healthcare plans from a tax on high-cost plans expected to be used to help raise revenue for the healthcare overhaul. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger met with House Speaker Pelosi Tuesday, a day after labor leaders met at the White House to express their opposition to the excise tax. House and Senate Democratic leaders are to meet with President Obama this morning at the White House to discuss health care. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel said he hopes there could be an agreement on the excise tax as early as today after the White House meeting, but then conceded: "That's stretching the word `hope.' " Exempting collectively bargained plans would appease unions that often offer expensive health plans in lieu of higher wages. The deal could also help Obama avoid breaking his promise not to tax those earning less than $200,000. Obama recently expressed a preference for the excise tax. The excise tax could further be tweaked to ensure Obama's promise is kept for non-union workers as well. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., said she plans to hold a briefing today to remind negotiators that CEOs of non-union companies also are against the tax. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the deal was not enough to bring him on board to support the excise tax on high-cost plans. "It's setting up a divide-and-conquer situation here where some people are going to feel they're paying for other people, and they're all working," Grijalva said. "That politically is possibly the most dangerous thing Democrats can do is create that division." CongressDaily - Unions Tentatively Strike A Deal Regarding Excise Tax rat bastards struck more behind the door deals,,, how loverly..