Commentary Magazine


Big Labor’s Health-Care Deal

The details of the backroom deal between Big Labor and the White House on the excise tax on Cadillac plans are leaking out. This report explains:

The deal cut Thursday would raise the value of policies subject to the tax to $24,000 for families and $8,900 for individuals. Plans with significant numbers of women or older workers would receive an additional break, as would workers in high-cost states and high-risk professions. Dental and vision plans would be exempt starting in 2015. And workers with collective-bargaining agreements and government employers would be exempt until 2018, giving labor leaders time to negotiate new contracts.

That takes $60B in revenue out of the package. But not to worry — the difference will be made up by taxing the rich on investment income, because in a recession you can never increase taxes enough on investors and job creators, apparently.

Yes, this is noxious stuff — but pretty much par for the course. The Obami needed to get a deal, and so they couldn’t have Big Labor out there bad-mouthing the bill. The Collective Bargaining Kickback doesn’t quite have the ring of the Cornhusker Kickback, but the principle is the same. What is the policy or moral justification for treating nonunion workers with generous health-care plans worse than unionized ones? There isn’t. This is about sticking it to those without sufficient political clout to avoid the havoc to be wreaked by ObamaCare. Health-care “reform” was supposed to be about minimizing the differences between the haves and the have-nots. We have learned, however, that the reality of “reform” is the creation of many more divisions and inequities.