Free Markets, Free People
Lefty Blog Discovers Regressive Tax In Baucus Health Care Bill
Now one can only hope they’ll take as close a look at cap-and-trade. Anyway, FireDogLake discovers the following:
An excise tax on high-end health insurance benefits is an extremely regressive tax on the middle class. Even though Ezra Klein claims this tax is progressive, it is not. It would raise relatively little money from the wealthy.
It is true that the bottom 30% is unlikely to pay very much of the new excise tax, but ,by the same token, the top 0.1% will pay almost none of it either.
This is the middle class tax of all middle class taxes. Many, many middle class people work for companies and corporations which offer health care plans that are above and beyond the average for such plans the Baucus bill has set. The so-called “Cadillac” policies are nothing more than those whose cost is above that average. The intention, of course, is to tax them to pay for the bill. The result will be one of two things – a reduction in the benefits to meet the average and avoid the tax (thereby drying up one of the revenue streams this bill depends on to fund it) or, if a public option is involved, withdrawing their present plan in favor of dumping their employees in the public option plan and paying a fine (which is sure to be less than paying for and administering a plan of their own).
In every way the middle class gets screwed. It either ends up paying the increase in cost that the tax entails, or it sees it’s benefits cut to avoid the tax, or gets dumped into a public option if that’s available.
Calling the plans the Baucus bill targets “Cadillac” plans is just another example of identity politics used to marginalize those who are the targets of the tax. It is an attempt to wring any sympathy for the victim out of the process by implying it will be the rich who are effected. As FDL has discovered, that’s not the truth at all.
But then, the truth is rarely to be found existent when politics is in play.