President Obama met with union leaders on Friday, where he agreed to exempt them from the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-value insurance plans.
Of course, the first question should be how, exactly, the Cadillac tax makes any sense at all. If the entire purpose of health care reform is to make sure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance, how does it make sense to tax people and employers who have high-quality insurance plans? One of my favorite quotes comes from Winston Churchill, when he said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
If the goal of health care reform were simply to ensure that all Americans can be insured, there would be no reason to tax “Cadillac” insurance plans – the people with high-value insurance plans are insured, so leave them alone! The government, however, doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the phrase “leave them alone.” The government meddles, and because they can’t leave well enough alone (and the government can’t afford to cover all Americans), they have to tax whatever they can.
What the Cadillac tax means over the long run is that people with high-value health insurance will no longer have high-value health insurance. The 40% excise tax will make high-value health insurance unaffordable, forcing people and companies to settle for health insurance that offers less coverage.
Now bring in the unions, who negotiated high-value health insurance for the workers they represent. The unions have to cover pensions for their members, and they have to cover their health plans. With the 40% tax in Obamacare, the labor unions won’t be able to afford those insurance plans – but they’re written into the union contracts. They would either have to renegotiate the contracts so union members get lower-grade health insurance, or the unions would simply go bankrupt.
Enter the Obama political machine.
The Democrats depend on labor unions to maintain their power base. Millions of dollars pour in from labor unions into liberal politicians’ campaign coffers every election cycle…so of course Obama isn’t going to let his union friends down. Instead of making the law apply uniformly, the health care bill (if passed) will exempt labor unions from the Cadillac tax.
This is bulls**t. Obama pledged openness and honesty, but all we get are backroom deals, bribes, and kickbacks to Democrat political allies. He promised bipartisanship, but all we get is hard-core liberal socialism. And they’re going to keep pushing and pushing right up until the voters take away their power – and it’s possible that even that won’t stop them.