Friday, January 15, 2010

The Stench of Health Care Deals

I just cannot believe that the Democrats and Obama have stooped so low as to give the unions five years more than the rest of us, in regard to when a tax on "cadillac" health care plans kicks in. Is that sad or what? In order to get the support of the unions, Pelosi, Reid and Obama have to pay them off with petty cash. See here for a description of the story.

Why would any rational policy exempt workers who are identical in all ways except they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, i.e., they belong to a union?

This comes on top of the buyout of Ben Nelson and Nebraska, and a few other groups as well. It's been a while since I read the Senate bill, and I suppose I should get out a bottle of wine and PeptoBismol and do it again. (Note that reports today had Nelson asking for removal of Nebraska's special status, but I will believe equal treatment of states when I see it.)

The other thing is that they are really gutting the cadillac tax, by raising the limit, excluding "high cost states" (what is the point of reform anyway?) and by now excluding vision and dental. I wonder when people will realize that the current version still includes reimbursement accounts. The cadillac tax is not such a bad idea, in a world of second-best, but if unions and longshoremen and others get breaks I drop my limited-to-begin-with support.

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