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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 7, 2010

OBAMA WANTS TO PUNISH MIDDLE CLASS AND UNION MEMBERS FOR GOOD QUALITY HEALTH COVERAGE

NY Times - President Obama told House Democratic leaders at a meeting that they should include a tax on high-priced insurance policies favored by the Senate in the final version of far-reaching health care legislation, aides said. The White House has long expressed a preference for the excise tax on high-cost plans. . .

But House Democrats have resisted the idea, which is also strongly opposed by many organized labor groups - an important part of the party's base - because the tax may hit a number of more generous union-sponsored health plans.

The Senate proposal would impose a 40 percent excise tax on the cost of individual insurance policies above $8,500 and on family policies above $23,000, with higher thresholds for retirees and employees in high-risk fields like police officers.

The tax would raise $149 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Senate bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years, while the House bill would cost nearly $1.1 trillion."

NY Times, September 21 - Although cast as a tax on gold-plated insurance policies for the well-heeled, it has prompted anxiety among the middle class.

As it turns out, though, many smaller fish would get caught in Mr. Baucus’s tax net. The supposedly Cadillac insurance policies include ones that cover many of the nation’s firefighters and coal miners, older employees at small businesses - a whole gamut that runs from union shops to Main Street entrepreneurs. . .

Nationwide, about one in 10 family insurance plans would be subject to the new excise tax, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning policy and research group.

The tax would be levied on insurers - or on employers that act as their own insurers. Either way, the tax would very likely be passed along to workers in even higher premiums than they pay now. But if insurance premiums continue to rise faster than inflation, as they have for years, many more people's policies could end up setting off the luxury tax in coming years.

"It puts a bigger tax on middle-income Americans who are already paying enough,"said Harold A. Schaitberger, the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Samson said...

Of course, what the NYT won't tell you is that they need these taxes to pay for all the costs due to all the deals Obama cut to make sure all of his corporate contributors have maximum profits into the foreseeable future.

Of course, single-payer would actually save money. Or we could save money by allowing the government to negotiate for drugs using its vast purchasing power.

But, the Democrats work to maximize profits for their big contributors and everyone else gets shafted.

Stop voting Democrat! Please! You're killing us. Literally.

January 8, 2010 12:16 PM  

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