"President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits, something he campaigned hard against while running for president, according to senators who met with him Tuesday. . . . The president adamantly opposed health benefit taxes during the campaign, arguing they would undermine job-based coverage, and he criticized Republican presidential rival John McCain for proposing a sweeping version of the same basic idea. But since taking office he and members of his administration have indicated openness to almost all suggestions from Congress on health care, including taxing benefits."
Assume your benefits are worth at least $500 per month. You'll get a tax increase equal to approximately one quarter to one third of that, which is much more than the amount of any of the miniscule "middle class tax cuts" previously announced.
Obama falsely promised to reform health care and expand coverage without increasing costs. He told everyone what they wanted to hear. Now, he's in this bind.
Why not simply tell the truth - - quality universal health care is expensive, to do it right will probably require a 1% payroll tax, and it's worth it.