Pelosi strikes deal with unions – no tax on high-cost health care plans

You knew this would happen. The unions deserve payback for support of Democrats and President Obama, so when the plan to tax “Cadillac” health care plans would obviously included those negotiated by collective bargaining teams, something had to be done. It’s change you can believe in!

Update: Seems as if the unions did get a break. My updated post is here.

Two days after union thugs warned the Obama administration and Democrats they could loose union support in the future if they moved forward to tax the health care benefits, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made promises to union leaders.

The unions reasoning? Collective bargaining agreements frequently go for more benefits instead of higher pay. I don’t believe that for one minute, and neither should you. Total compensation is total compensation. So what happened?

Unions tentatively struck a deal Tuesday to exempt collectively bargained healthcare plans from a tax on high-cost plans expected to be used to help raise revenue for the healthcare overhaul.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger met with House Speaker Pelosi Tuesday, a day after labor leaders met at the White House to express their opposition to the excise tax.

But the story does not end there. Somehow, Democrats want to keep everyone confused about what is happening so they want to ensure employees who are not unionized are somehow taken care of too. When you exempt all of the union health care benefits, and exempt all of the non-union health care benefits, nothing is left to tax right?

The excise tax could further be tweaked to ensure Obama’s promise is kept for non-union workers as well.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., said she plans to hold a briefing today to remind negotiators that CEOs of non-union companies also are against the tax.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the deal was not enough to bring him on board to support the excise tax on high-cost plans.

“It’s setting up a divide-and-conquer situation here where some people are going to feel they’re paying for other people, and they’re all working,” Grijalva said. “That politically is possibly the most dangerous thing Democrats can do is create that division.”

Create that division? Are you friggin’ kidding me? There already is a huge division! The top 10 percent of wage earners pay what percentage of all federal income taxes collected? (It’s a quiz, answer in the comments below.)

Hat tip to Sweetness & Light.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. donh on January 14, 2010 at 4:36 am

    A desparate move to keep Ted Kennedy's seat out of the people's hands. Scott Brown has made a LOT of headway pointing out the $10,000 in taxes union members will have to pay under Obamacare.

  2. Dimsdale on January 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

    It has begun: I just got a robo phone call from Fat Anne Wass, the head of the Massachusetts (or is it "Massachusettes"?) Teachers Association, telling me that "Ted Kennedy's seat" is in trouble, and to vote for union friendly Martha Coakley.


    This is the same Anne Wass that is constantly complaining that the (Democrat) legislature won't fund their contracts.  They don't understand that when you owe everything to the Democrats, the Dems don't feel that they owe you anything.

  3. donh on January 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

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