Friday, January 15, 2010

Another betrayal

The White House has reached a tentative agreement with union leaders to tax high-cost medical plans, one of the final obstacles in the way of President Barack Obama's health care remake, officials said Thursday.

. . . The proposed tax has been a major sticking point because early versions from the Senate would have hit union members, who have negotiated generous health benefits, sacrificing higher wages. House Democrats were strongly opposed, and did not include the tax in their bill. But Obama favored the tax, citing the consensus opinion of economists that it would help hold down costs by nudging workers into less pricey coverage.

. . . On the high-cost insurance tax, officials familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday that options being considered to lessen the impact on union members included raising the threshold at which the tax would be levied -- it's $23,000 for family plans in the Senate-passed bill -- and exempting collective bargaining agreements negotiated before 2013 from the tax.

Under that scenario the tax wouldn't hit until union contracts were renegotiated, delaying its impact on most union health plans until perhaps 2015 or 2016.

To repeat - - Obama campaigned against this tax, as unfair and retrogressive. Now, he's for it.

The purpose of the tax is to "nudge workers into less pricey coverage", i.e., force the professional, middle and skilled working classes into crappy HMO's, with high deductibles and co pays, and use the savings to pay for equally poor plans for the currently uninsured. "If you like your insurance, you can keep it"? Not any more.

And, the key? Delay the tax "until perhaps 2015 or 2016", after all the big shots are out of office and no longer face reelection.

Obama betrayed the voters.

Now, the unions are betraying their members.

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