Posted by Jax Hawk on Wednesday, July 01, 2009 4:29:33 PM Wednesday, July 01, 2009 Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” —Ronald Reagan
The best chance for compromise legislation on health care may be a plan under construction in the Senate Finance Committee that would pay for a public plan in part by taxing some worker health benefits. But the union workers who helped Democrats win Congress and the White House and whose support will be key in getting a health bill signed into law would not pay the tax.
With cost estimates already as high as $1.6 trillion, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed paying for the bill in part by taxing health care benefits for workers who earn more than $100,000, or $200,000 for married couples, according to those familiar with the discussions.Just like all taxes they will begin taxing only those earning over 100K, but when they admit the tax reciepts will not bring in enough money. They will report the crisis as a threat to the health plan now in force, and tax all wage earners!
Baucus is also weighing a tax based on the value of health care benefits that exceed a yet-to-be determined cap. A tax on benefits that exceed the cap by a mere $3,000 could amount to $750 in taxes annually for a worker who earns as little as $34,000, say experts. The key words are ” not yet determined”. They are asking us to buy a “pig in a Polk”! But those union members serving under collective bargaining agreements would not be subjected to the tax, according to proposals under discussion. Another pay off to the Union movement. Are Americans ready to accept this pay off to unions?
Union workers enjoy some of the most extensive and costliest health benefits, and union officials complained their members would be unfairly burdened by a health care tax because their contracts cannot be changed quickly enough to avoid it. This is an absurd claim made by the group that was necessary in the days of Samuel Gompers, but has made the Auto Industry and many others non-competative due to their absured salary and bnefit demands.This is no more or no less than a payoff for poiltical support in the last two elections!
Union members represent one of the biggest and most powerful Democratic constituencies and their support of any health care reform proposal is viewed as essential to getting a bill passed in Congress.Who is the Congress of the United States responsible to the general population, or the Unions? Baucus has proposed the tax threshold on health care benefits be set higher than the cost of policies available to federal employees and he has proposed exempting until 2013 those plans negotiated as part of union contracts. “It’s a means of making sure that unions are foursquare behind any reform bill that comes out,” said Henry Aaron, a health care policy expert at Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
I believe the Baucus proposal to exempt unions from a health care benefits tax ,could be used to lure into unions employees who are anxious to avoid the benefits tax.Another unintended perk for a select group that is not available to the general population. President-elect Obama during his campaign pledged to build a health care system in which Americans can be assured of access to affordable health insurance. He guaranteed Americans who already have insurance that nothing would change except that their coverage would be less expensive. He pointed to the health system that Members of Congress have as your model for expanding coverage. And he agreed that choice of doctor and care is a basic principle.
These laudable themes struck a chord with Americans.But it appears to be just another lie that Obama is telling to the guilable American public. Even worse than congressionally mandated benefits would be mandatory coverage designed by the powerful Federal Health Board proposed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD). Daschle envisions a remote board of “experts,” perhaps modeled on the Federal Reserve Board. This board, he says, would be “insulated from politics. Congress and the White House would relinquish some of their health-policy decisions to it.” Shielded from public opinion and from representative government, it would have “teeth,” says Daschle, potentially deciding such things as premiums and appropriate services, and “all federal programs would have to abide by [its recommendations].” He also imagines that the board would “link the tax exclusion for health insurance to insurance that complies with the Board’s recommendations.” Tom Daschle’s Federal Health Board would have enormous power over medical decisions affecting every American. This is unacceptable, and would break Obama’s pledge to give Americans choice. This scheme should be rejected!!
Source: Thomas Sowell