January 11, 2010

CAN YOU AFFORD THE DEMOCRATS?:


Can the Dems Bridge Their Health Care 'Cadillac' Tax Divide?
(Karen Tumulty, Jan. 11, 2010, TIME)

At this point, about three-quarters of the House Democratic caucus has signed a letter sponsored by Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney expressing opposition to the tax.

Opponents argue that the people who are covered by those policies are, in many instances, far from wealthy. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 1 in 5 workers would be affected by the tax in 2016. And among unionized workers, particularly in states where health costs are higher than average, the percentages are even higher. For instance, the Connecticut Education Association, which delivered petitions to its congressional delegation that were signed by 10,000 of the state's teachers, estimates that the tax would hit 40% of its members the first year alone. And under the provision's indexing formula, even greater numbers of policies would be affected in subsequent years.

Courtney contends that swallowing this tax would be even more difficult for many House Democrats than abandoning the public option, which would have provided a new government-run alternative for covering the uninsured. That is because it would require tens of millions of Americans to give up a benefit they now enjoy — tax-free treatment of their health benefits.

However, Obama has already indicated that he favors the tax.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2010 6:46 AM
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