WASHINGTON (CNN) - An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms to CNN that, in attempt to quell a revolt among conservative Democrats, she is considering changing House Democrats' health care bill so that it only taxes families making $1 million or more.
"The Speaker has said several times she would like to squeeze more savings out of the system, and if we can do that we can reduce the number of people affected by the surcharge," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for the Speaker.
To raise revenue to pay for reform, the House Democrats health care bill would impose a surcharge on individuals making $280,000 or more and families making $350,000 or more.
Pelosi is now suggesting starting that surtax at individuals making $500,000 and families making $1 million.
The Speaker first raised the idea in an interview with Politico.
Last week, 22 Democratic House freshmen sent a letter to the Speaker saying they were "extremely concerned" about what the taxes in their party's health care bill would do to small businesses.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democratic freshman from a conservative swing district in Virginia, told CNN he believes a surcharge could hurt his constituents.
“It’s important to remember that with the expiration of the tax cuts on the highest income level, folks over a certain income level are going to see their tax rate go from 35 percent back to 39.6 percent,“ Connolly told CNN.
"To add to that a 5.4 percent tax to finance health care, on top of other fees and so forth that are being discussed, I think is wrong."
But he said Pelosi's idea to eliminate the tax on any individuals making below $500,000 helps.
"It narrows the number of people who would be affected. I think it probably goes a long way in protecting the small businesses we were concerned about and it puts more pressure on our House colleagues who are writing the bill to identify more in savings." Connolly told CNN.
As for Republicans: House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Indiana, slammed the surtax in any form. "It almost boggles the mind that the majority in Congress would continue headlong down a pathway toward increasing the tax burden on anyone at a time when our economy is shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month," said Pence.