Charles Lane argues that unions are now a "significant" impediment to "sensible health care reform" because of their tooth-and-nail fight against taxing "Cadillac" health plans. ... Even if you think (as I do) that the unions have a point when they argue they gave up wage increases in order to get lavish health benefits, isn't the answer to give them five years (or until their next contract negotiation) to rebalance the mix to what it would be in a world in which employer health benefits didn't go untaxed? ... If the problem for powerful unions is they no longer have quite the clout they used to have to extract wage increases in exchange for giving up "luxury" health benefits ... well, that's their problem. ...But if we with the "Cadillac" health plans have to start paying taxes on our benefits, that's a huge middle class tax increase, and we were promised that wouldn't happen. Rebalancing the pay package doesn't save us from that tax hit — even assuming our employers would reshuffle things. Plus we love our great health benefits, and we were told if we liked them, we'd get to keep them. How is it fair to change the rules on us after we worked so hard to get what we have? The Democrats, including Obama, got elected by saying "middle class" over and over again. They never said they were going to provide for the less fortunate at our expense, and I don't see how they would have gotten elected if they had.
IN THE COMMENTS: Ari Tai said:
They could go the other direction, a 100% tax deduction for all medical expenses (including insurance payments).Yes, that would be appropriate. In fact, why not just do that and forget all the other chaotic changes? See how that works out.