Taxing insurance: It's a sure-fire political winner!
The House Democratic plan calls for raising income taxes on upper-income people to pay for covering the uninsured. Baucus has instead proposed a tax on high-cost insurance plans worth more than $8,000 for an individual policy and $21,000 for family coverage.
Proponents of the insurance tax, which Obama has endorsed, say it would help to lower health care costs by encouraging people to become more cost-conscious health care consumers.
"I hear they're having a sale on kidneys at the Wal-Mart clinic, Merle! Should we go?"
Some of the high-cost plans are so expensive because they come with no co-payments or deductibles, and cover every dollar spent for health care. Not all of them provide such "Cadillac" benefits, however. Some are very expensive because they're sold to companies with older employees, or workers in high-risk occupations.
Labor unions say they've given up higher pay to secure better health care benefits that they're determined to hang on to. Insurers are likely to try to pass on the cost of the tax through higher premiums.
Setting the insured against the uninsured -- Man, do those Dems know how to take care of the base!
NOTE Why not a tax on stock market transactions? Just because HR676 proposes that doesn't make it a bad idea!