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Obama Now Open To Health Benefits Tax

From an always approving New York Times:

[Obama’s campaign ad]"Taketh" features footage from the debate Second Presidential Debate in which Obama tells Americans the truth about John McCain’s health care plan, explaining that McCain pays for his tax credit by taxing your health care benefits, for the first time ever.

Administration Is Open to Taxing Health Benefits


March 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage……

In the campaign, Mr. McCain estimated that taxing all health benefits would raise $3.6 trillion over a decade — “a multitrillion-dollar tax hike,” one Obama advertisement said…

Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party base, considers the benefits among the union movement’s historic achievements for the middle class. But a split could be developing between the manufacturing unions, which have negotiated rich benefit packages, and the growing service employees unions, which include many low-wage workers without generous benefits.

Alan V. Reuther, legislative director of the United Automobile Workers, said: “These proposals would represent a tax increase on working families. They would undermine good health care coverage.”

But at the Service Employees International Union, which was an early supporter of Mr. Obama, Dennis Rivera, the coordinator of the union’s health care campaign, said that while his organization was “predisposed not to agree to the taxing of health benefits,” he would wait to pass judgment

What’s this? Mr. Obama is reneging on a campaign promise?

In fact, he is thinking about doing exactly what he (falsely) accused his opponent of planning to do?

How shocking, is it not? But never fear.

Mr. Biden is in charge of protecting the middle class.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 15th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Obama Now Open To Health Benefits Tax”

  1. proreason says:

    No nuance about this one.

    It’s a key step in the destruction of private health insurance.

    We need filmakers to show young people more about health care in England, Canada, France and Cuba….including that the young will pay MORE than their fair share by any measure.

    It’s a propaganda war.

  2. U NO HOO says:

    “They would undermine good health care coverage.”

    Isn’t that Obama’s goal?

    Hey, Clinton taxed Social Security.

  3. annabetsy says:

    Would someone please tell me why this man is taken seriously on any promise he made during the campaign?Except for the socialism promises. He has kept those promises.

  4. BigOil says:

    When a Democrat opens their mouth, might as well cue up the Beatles song Taxman.

    I could have sworn we heard straight from the teleprompters mouth healthcare reform was necessary to save us from the crushing costs – through miracles of efficiency like a medical records database. If so, why are all the extra taxes necessary?

  5. proreason says:

    VDH starting to sound like S&L posters: “I’ve come rapidly to the point where I simply do not believe (cf. the claim that all those companies every thirty minutes are going broke due to the lack of federal health care) that what our President says is at all accurate. And worse have come to think that he knows it is not, and, worse still, knows that the media largely know too but will do their part as disciples must. In short, we are soon to see an end to things as they once were for the last quarter-century.”

    It’s obvious from Mr. Hanson’s writings that he strives to not be extreme, so when I see phrases like this it reinforces what most people who attend to S&L already think….which is that we aren’t in a normal period of polical correction, but rather a radical shift that, if unchecked, will dramatically change the world that we know.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      “…we aren’t in a normal period of polical correction, but rather a radical shift that, if unchecked, will dramatically change the world that we know.”

      Pro, as usual, you are dead on.

  6. heather08 says:

    For the record, McCain’s plan was not to tax benefits, per se. It was to give employees the option of either accepting their employer’s plan or using the money to shop on the open market for a cheaper plan. Both would be taxed as income, but there would be up to a $5,000 tax credit to offset the tax. Because of my job classification, I have the option of either paying the group rates at my place of business or finding my own insurance. I found a policy, with the same insurer my business uses, that was $400 less a month for the same benefits. McCain’s plan was too complicated for the average person to understand, but it was a good one.

    • Odie44 says:

      heather –

      I am glad you pointed this fact out and posted. Every time I hear people simply follow the dogma, instead of doing a 10 minute web search to find comparable and much cheaper insurance – with the same benefits, I cringe.

      Even better, compare “guaranteed COBRA coverage” costs to any individual or family plan through the same or differnt providers – and the gap widens.

      And for the record – I highly encourage people to look into existing medical (or health) savings accounts, depending on your work status, age and health.


  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I think what I’m seeing here is a multi-staged effort. One part of it is to continue with the mantra that “big government will get everyone free healthcare”. However, knowing that certain segments of the populaton (you, me and other sane individuals) won’t go for it, they will, instead make it so bloody difficult to maintain a healthcare insurance plan that EVERYONE will ultimately be forced to “see the light” and opt to go with socialized healthcare simply because Obama/Pelosi/frank have regulated and taxed the costs of regualr healthcare out of the realm of the practical, thus FORCING people to relinquish their rights, yet again and acquiesce to the gummint.

    I guess what disturbs me the most, and I’ll borrow from Charlie Brown…with respect to the football that someone brought up not too long ago here, “I don’t mind your dishonesty half as much as I mind your opinion of me. You must think I’m stupid.”.

    And that is exactly the methodology they seem to use, along with the “I won” BS, and “I say something…and it’s FACT—Do not dispute me—Do not question my supreme authority—I know better than YOU”.

    It all falls into the ignorance coupled with arrogance. Always a dangerous combination.

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