It's difficult to find a prominent politician who will issue a full-throated defense of the "Cadillac tax," a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the most generous health care plans. 

But there's a reason it was part of the landmark legislation, and many economists say the country can't afford to lose it. 

Over 100 health care economists signed a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee urging Congress to maintain what the group believes is an important step towards dismantling what it calls "an economically inefficient and regressive" tax system that encourages employers to compensate workers through benefits, rather than wages. 

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