Unions had opposed the measure, which, as originally designed, would have imposed a 40 percent excise tax on insurance policies that cost more than $23,000 for families, and $8,500 for individuals, indexed just above inflation.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, the threshold for families would be raised to $24,000, and would exempt certain benefits like vision and dental, according to a Democratic source.
Collectively bargained plans would be exempted until 2017, to provide workers with a real opportunity to renegotiate their benefits packages, which were designed under current law and excluded from taxation.
The White House appears to have stood its ground, though, on the question of how to index the tax. By indexing it just above the consumer price index, the provision generates a great deal of cost-savings, which are crucial to getting a passing score from CBO.
Labor officials and progressives had suggested the index would have to be raised to keep pace with medical inflation--a tweak that would prevent the tax from ensnaring middle class people over time, but that would also eliminate the measure's savings potential. But they seem to have lost that fight.
So Obama is still going to f@$k union members, just not until 2017.
Notice too that if your plan is not part of collective bargaining, it is subject to the tax sooner (perhaps as early as 2011.)
So Obama still wants the middle and working class to fund his health care goodie giveaway to the insurance industry.
Labor got some concessions, but when you're dealing with a corporate whore like Obama, I guess there is only so much you can do.
I know what I'm going to do.
Write the White House again to tell them what I think about the excise tax and the corporate whore sitting in the Oval Office.
Then I'm going to write my senators and congressman and tell them what I'm going to do if they vote for health care (HINT: it involves staying home to count Republican votes in 2010 and 2012 on TV.)
Then I'm going to watch very closely to see if the progressives in the House can kill this provision from the bill before it goes for a final vote.
Finally, I am going to root for the Republican to beat the Dem in the special election in Mass to fill Teddy Kennedy's seat.
That may the only way to stop this abomination from becoming law.
What a f@$k Obama is. Much worse than even I thought - and I thought he was going to be pretty bad.