Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uh Oh! I Have a Bad Feeling About Health Care Reform

I backed Hillary Clinton during the primaries because she had the better health care plan for America.

I am now wondering just how much the Obama administration is going to fold under the pressure of blue dog Democrats, lobbyists and Republicans opposed to any “public” option. During the campaign, Democrats were soundly ridiculing John McCain for proposing a tax on health care premiums. The idea was so counter to health care reform and universal access that it was a completely unthinkable option.

Oops! I forgot, we’re talking about the spineless Democratic Party of compromisers. It is with great reluctance that I can confidently say, health care reform is dead. If it does change, it won’t cost any less than today and double digit premium increases will continue to be the norm. Here’s the bad news from the NY Times:

The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits … 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.” … while he (Obama) will not propose changing the tax-free status of employee health benefits, neither will he oppose it if Congress does so. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat … own health plan would make benefits taxable … Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, advocated taxing benefits … The administration’s receptivity to the idea is owed partly to the advocacy of Mr. Baucus, and to support from Republicans.
Well if the Republicans like the idea, than it must good... or might be the poison pill they were hoping to include to derail any real change or improve affordability. Obama’s plan to limit the tax deductions claimed by the wealthy turned out be to painful for the upper class.

“…limiting the income tax deductions that the most affluent taxpayers claim — has run into opposition not only from Mr. Baucus but also from his counterpart in the House, Representative Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Mr. Obama’s proposed limit on deductions would raise an estimated $318 billion over 10 years, or half of his proposed “health care reserve fund.” That is a fraction of the revenues that could be raised from taxing employer-provided health benefits.”

Like I said, it’s all over. I can either go back to writing big checks to the insurance industry or do without coverage, and take the gamble that we won’t lose everything to a health care emergency. Gee, I wonder who will lose, me or the multi-billion dollar insurance industry.

What an incredible waste of a Democratic Congress and presidency.

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