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Obamas Cadillac Flip Flop

In a video that rings so true it hurts, Lee Stranahan–a former Obama supporter–gives us the aspiring president’s own speech. Only a month before the 2008 election, Obama makes it plain just how bad an idea the “Cadillac” excise tax on health benefits actually is:

John McCain calls these plans “Cadillac plans.” Now in some cases, it may be that a corporate CEO is getting too good a deal. But what if you’re a line worker making a good American car like the Cadillac? What if you’re one of the steelworkers who are working right here in Newport News, and you’ve given up wage increases in exchange for a better health care?

Well, Senator McCain believes you should pay higher taxes too. The bottom line: the better your health care plan – the harder you’ve fought for your good benefits – the higher the taxes you’ll pay.


You see, Senator McCain would pay for his plan, in part, by taxing your health care benefits for the first time in history.

This plan, as Stranahan (and Obama) make clear, is a new tax on the middle class. It’s the kind of tax that could potentially ruin the health insurance that many Americans struggled to get through the collective bargaining process.

Alas, some in organized labor have only sought to get exemptions or cutouts for themselves rather than oppose this regressive tax outright.

The House version of the legislation contained a better idea for funding health care reform—a small tax increase on the very highest incomes in the tradition of the progressive federal income tax that has worked to build this country’s best programs for nearly a century. But rather than stick to their better idea, House leadership has signaled that they will roll over for today’s President Obama, and accept the tax on health benefits, but request a temporarily higher threshold. Not smart, not small or large “D” democratic, not what Obama promised back in 2008.

“This entire health care plan is a huge sellout to the insurance industry,” says Stranahan, “There are side effects to mandating that every person be forced to buy private insurance. . . Obama “didn’t run on mandates, he ran against mandates.”

“We have been given a watered down, corporate-friendly health care bill”—this is not what Lee voted for, this not what any of us voted for.

Also this snipet I found interesting
For almost the entirety of the health care debate, the Obama Administration has relied on economist Jonathan Gruber to make the public case for its idea of reform - even the most unpopular parts. But as Firedoglake revealed on Friday, the Obama Administration has failed to disclose that it paid the same economist more than $780,000.

This is a huge ethical violation that undermines the entirety of health care reform.

Join The Conversation
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years
OK so I have a ppo right now, but at my hospital when a f/t employee you can get a hmo for 18 a paycheck. They have $20 copays and 100% for all tests/lab/xrays etc. So would that be considered a cadillac plan. I know a LOT of hospitals who have the same time of insurance. Mayo Clinic being one. I also just heard that the tax on theses plans will be 40%!!!!!!!! Except if you are in a union, then no tax. What happened to if you like your plan you can keep it Mr Obama? All of those hospital employees wont be able to keep their insurance. And why does the union get to keep theirs. Because good honest employers chose to give their employees great healthcare without having to be strong armed. Do non union employees not work as hard or are less deserving? Do non union employees not take better benefits for less pay or crappy hours etc? If the real reason is because they drive up consumerism, do union members using these plans not drive up consumerism. This is just plain wrong
tiff58 tiff58 6 years
I don't think they are done because the patient wants them either. I think it's a combination of the fear of being sued, and really just becoming lax on determining the real root of the problem. Patients don't give these tests a second thought because their insurance is paying, and doctors are just so used to sending patients for the tests that they continue to do so.
UnDave35 UnDave35 6 years
I agree that this is part of what needs to be reformed, but not all of those tests are done because the patient wants them, but because the doctor doesn't want to be sued.
tiff58 tiff58 6 years
I do agree with this part: "Secondly, the Cadillac plans drive up consumption of health care. People getting treatments and medication not because they necessarily need them, but because they are free or nearly free. These are all things to consider... " I think this is part of what helps drive up the cost of health care to unreasonable levels...but I don't think that taxing it is the solution. Even if it is only on the insurer, it will somehow be passed down to the person on the plan, whether through decreased wages or just no longer having those plans available. I'm not sure of the percentage of people that have plans like these, but I assume there is a large number- most people who work for Fortune 100 companies, union workers, etc.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years
Thats ok, I have a high deductible plan which will be outlawed if the bill passes, my husband works for a small company who chooses to offer insurance and pays 100% of the premiums for the employee. We pay $400 a month for me and my kids. not to mention the deductible. His employer has already stated that they will just stop offering insurance if this plan is eliminated because they cannot afford any more. So we will be out in the cold. I just can never be for a government telling me, well you have it TOO good. And Jill are you OK with Obama vilifying McCain for this and then agreeing with it?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years
So then wouldnt medicaid be considered a cadillac plan? They pay 100% and I'm not being snarky its an honest question. Because you say that these cadillac plans drive up consumption, couldnt the same be said for medicaid?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years
Ive heard it is not the insurers who will get the tax but rather the employers. Which will result in a pay cut. Therefore a tax directly on the middle class.
UnDave35 UnDave35 6 years
The problem with this is my wife (who is a pastor) has a "cadillac" plan, according to their definiton. We can barely afford the taxes we have to pay, so how does taxing only cadillac plans only affect the rich?
Jillness Jillness 6 years
I am on the fence with the cadillac tax (and just to be clear skb only the Senate version has the tax, House does not). On one hand, we don't want the middle class to be hurt too hard by this. On the other hand, it is the insurers who would get this tax....not the person insured. What percentage of middle class people have Cadillac plans? Secondly, the Cadillac plans drive up consumption of health care. People getting treatments and medication not because they necessarily need them, but because they are free or nearly free. These are all things to consider... I don't know how much this tax would be, and ultimately I think I will wait and see how it finally pans out before I make a decision a to whether I agree with it or not. When it comes to legislation, sometimes the biggest impact is in the fine print.
UnDave35 UnDave35 6 years
Another good question is why is this plan being administered without Congress becoming part of the healthcare plan?? Isn't it unconstitutional for Congress to enact laws that Congress is not subject to?
skb9850 skb9850 6 years
I agree the plans should not be taxed. So why now are the current healthcare bills created by the dems showing they will be taxed?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 6 years
This was one of the reasons I didnt vote for McCain. Something the demorcrats and I can agree on

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