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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Still at it

More Wyden-union porn in the mailbox today:

Comments (8)

Does anyone know what the unions' angle is here? What do they have to lose if Wyden's plan passes?

As far as I know, the aspect of the plan that troubles the unions is the proposal to treat health benefits as taxable income. This is something they went after McCain for proposing too.

It would be a regressive tax if it were enacted, but I'm sort of on the fence, since if the money were used to fund expanded low-income health care options the net impact would be progressive.

The main thrust of Wyden is to get Universal Health Care for everyone. He'd use this tax to fund med insurance for the uncovered people. I think the long term plan is to get everyone on Universal Health Care. The intent seems taking from the well-covered and using it to pay for the uncovered.

The public-employee unions are afraid of two things:
1) Having gold-plated benefits taxed since they are prob worth $1500/month to each employee
2) Having to give up gold-plated benes like this and taking normal people insurance like the rest of us.

While wishy washy Wyden hangs onto the disliked health plan that serves so many with so little benefits, he bristles over Single Payer Health. Is he in bed with Big Ins.Business?

These folks have swarms of earnest young people on the MAX trying to get people to sign a form postcard to Wyden. When I went to stuff the thing in my pocket & said I'd read it later (so I could download my instructions from you, O Master), she grabbed it back & said it was "too expensive to print, to just give away." She gave me another flyer instead, which seems to be substantially the same as the one shown. I didn't see a stamp on the postcard, and if it was business-reply mail, it doesn't cost them unless it is used, and I'm past the days of taping those things to wrapped bricks to sabotage evil outfits. Now that I know it's the public unions, maybe I'll reconsider.

My wife belongs to a private sector union, and we're getting robocalls from state AFL-CIO shill Tom Chamberlain urging us to contact Wyden's office to oppose the proposal.

*If I'm reading this correctly*, my family would lose our health insurance over this exactly because it's "gold plated." Our total income is $1600/mo gross + $900 in benefits (of which we pay $180). We're already quite stretched for a family of 3, and if we had to pay taxes on another $900 of income, there's no question that we'd have to drop it and hope the state at least covers our daughter. I guess it doesn't matter really since the co-pays and deductibles have been to high for us to use it anyway.

Don't sweat it, Annie, I'm sure your employer will gladly give you a pay increase commensurate with the amount you will save them by dropping the medical benefits...

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