Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Finally Bipartisanship! Ooops, It's on War with Iran and Health Insurance Dump

When the red and blue boys in Congress come together, watch out! The Senator in charge of health care reform pushed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vision, one without employers free of that pesky health insurance benefit. Senator Max Baucus was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce in the last election. Baucus accepted donations from eight for-profit health care companies with no facilities in Montana. Reuters reported his latest consideration:

A senior Senate Democrat said Tuesday he would consider taxing U.S. workers on their employer-sponsored health insurance to help pay for extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

"I think that tax provision should be on the table," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who will play a major role in writing the legislation to revamp the U.S. healthcare system as promised by President Barack Obama. "It's too aggressive. It skews the system," he said of the tax benefit.

Most U.S. workers with health insurance get it through their employers -- 160 million of them -- although recent surveys have shown that number is declining as businesses try to cope with the rapidly rising cost of insurance.

What happens if the employer sponsored benefit is taxable, but individual shouldered cost for health insurance is deductible? Employers will dump the benefit like a used condom.

Examine Max's "it's too aggressive". Employers once provided coverage to over 75% of Americans. That number is down to less than 59%. It was more aggressive a decade ago, why didn't Max speak up then? What else happened the last ten years? Higher deductibles, higher co-pays, and premium sharing. In other words, employees have paid more for fewer benefits.

What's aggressive is Max Baucus' sucking up to corporate America and for-profit health care. Just as business shifted the cost of retirement to the individual, it wants to dump health insurance on employees. Watch closely!

The other area of bipartisanship is on Israel's concerns over Iran. Haaretz ran the following headline:

Kerry: Iran program is not only an anxiety, it`s existential threat for Israel

Existential threat? Those are strong words. The world is lining up against Iran, the reds and blues, Israel, and Arab countries. Threats are to be eliminated. My friends, there will be more wars.

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