Labor Gets its Special Health Care Deal

At the end of this post I alluded to the special deal that unions–after much b***ing and moaning– have extracted from Team Obama Health Care Force. In short, the tax on so-called “cadillac plans” won’t be applied to collectively bargained health plans. Heritage’s James Sherk observes:

What a deal. Unions want the health care spending, but they do not want to pay for it. Obama gave them just that. It also makes for a great recruiting pitch: join a union, get a tax cut.

No doubt. But wait, there’s more!

That is just one of the many handouts unions get in the health care bill. It sets aside $5 billion to subsidize the costs of employer health benefits for early retirees. Few nonunion employers, of course, pay pension and health benefits for workers to retire at 55.
Or consider the small business exemption from the employer mandate for businesses with less than 50 employees. All businesses, that is, except construction companies. The costly employer mandate applies to any construction firm with more than four workers. Why would Congress kick small construction contractors when they are down? Because the construction unions asked Congress to. They did not want their small competitors to get out from under the bill’s costs and gain a competitive advantage. What if those costs put small contractors out of business? That is just too bad.

Nothing like looking out for the little guy, eh? But back to the exemption: Daniel Foster looks at the tea leaves:

Look for Obama and Congressional Democrats to the expand the union carve-out to cover a swath of the “middle-class” (the universal solvent of American politics), so they can camouflage this massive giveaway to a pet constituency.
One House Democrat is already saying a “consensus” could be built around such a scheme by further increasing the Medicare payroll tax and applying it to capital gains to make up for lost revenue.
This would amount to nothing less than a bill of attainder against on all constituencies that are not especially useful to the president and his party.

The shell game continues.

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Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“the tax on so-called “cadillac plans” won’t be applied to collectively bargained health plans.”
So “some pigs are more equal than others”? No, I am not in any way denigrating unions, I’m quoting George Orwell.
This is completely insane. It’s way beyond a shell game.
One of the major points of our constitutional republic is that all laws and all taxes apply equally to everyone. When that stops happening, we have regressed to a monarchy, where only the favorites of the king (in this case, Congress and the president) are treated well.
Here’s a hint that you may be doing something wrong: if your special, darling constituency should not be taxed for their “cadillac” plan, no one else should, either.
Here’s another hint: if you’re so desperate to fund a potential new program that you’re willing to tax health coverage plans, even “cadillac” ones, there’s something terribly wrong with that program.
By the way, if this health care reform is budget neutral, why do we need to raise taxes at all to pay for it?

Pat Crowley
Pat Crowley
11 years ago

so…
where is the apology from MikeinRI and Justin about what we would do on this issue?

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

Interesting.
I wonder if this will now incentivize my employer to ‘unionize’ my department in order to spare themselves the added cost.
Doesn’t this provide an obvious incentive (to both employers and employees) to unionization? Will employers build ‘shell unions’ that are functionally neutered except to ‘bargain’ for health care in order to reap the tax benefits?
We actually absorbed another on-campus group that is unionized last year, so I fully expect those folks to put together a drive to get us into their boat.
What happens to me if I don’t want to be in the union? I’m almost entirely sure that I’m the only one in my group (not department) who would opt-out. Do I get forced in and looked-down upon? am I allowed to stay out? Or do I get promoted to management?

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