Regular readers know I have written numerous times about Obamacare, its origins, the backroom deals, secret meetings, and change of Senate rules to get it passed before anyone could read it (a la Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s infamous claim that, “but we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”), all in direct contradiction to the well-voiced will of the people who opposed this law in big numbers.
And since this law has passed, we have learned a whole lot more about the “architects” of this law, including Jonathan Gruber, a professor at MIT who does not think too highly of his fellow citizens (he thinks you’re stupid – seriously – that is what he called Americans), and who was thankful for a lack of transparency so he and the other architects could pull the wool over the eyes of “stupid” Americans. I wrote about Gruber a couple of years ago, his role in Obamacare, and some of the outrageous statements he made. (I wrote a number of posts about Gruber in addition to the one above, including this one when he faced a Congressional inquiry and this one as we learned the extent of Gruber’s Obamacare machinations.)
In case you have forgotten, here is Prof. Gruber sharing what he thinks of you as he extols the virtues of the lack of transparency behind Obamacare:
But Gruber wasn’t the only Architect to pull a fast one on the American people. There was also Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, in on it too. And oh, did he do a number on us. Emanuel is the one we can thank for the “Cadillac Tax.”
Sharyl Attkisson had a great segment on the “Cadillac Tax” and the man who exposed both Gruber and Emanuel, Rich Weinstein, in her program, “Full Measure,” this past weekend. The program is well worth watching in its entirety, though if you take blood pressure medication, you might want to get on that before watching.
Okay, here goes:
In essence, Sharyl Attikson interviewed the man, just a regular citizen, Rich Weinstein, who uncovered the subterfuge of Gruber and Emanuel with Obamacare in general, and the Cadillac Tax in particular. Here is the part you need to know:
Ezekiel Emanuel: “It is the single biggest tax break in the American tax code. It’s worth $250 billion dollars. To compare, for those of you who want to keep track, the mortgage deduction, sacrosanct, $70 billion dollars.”
Weinstein: “And it took me some time to figure it out, but I realized that they were going after that tax break and people are going to lose their tax break without knowing they were losing their tax break. That’s incredible.”
Weinstein learned that since World War II, Americans’ health insurance benefits from work haven’t been taxed as income. The Obamacare Cadillac tax will change that.
It slaps a 40% tax on work-provided insurance policies valued above $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family. For example, say your individual plan costs $15,200. You’ll pay 40% of the amount over $10,200that’s 40% of $5,000, which means an extra $2,000 to the IRS at the end of the year.
Uh, yeah. A FORTY PERCENT TAX on policies over the $10,200 threshold. That is HUGE. HUGE, people.
And it was a hard sell for Emanuel with Obama. Why? Because of this:
Emanuel: The other side, inside the White House, that other part of the health team and especially the political team, which David Axelrod headed up, hated this idea.
One reason they hated it, Emanuel explains, is because in 2008, Obama’s Republican opponent, John McCain, proposed eliminating the tax benefit, in effect imposing a giant new tax and at that time, Obama was against it.
Barack Obama, October 2008 campaign speech: John McCain calls these plans ‘Cadillac’ plans. And in some cases it may be that a corporate CEO may be getting too good of a deal. But what if you are a line worker, making a good American car like the Cadillac? What if you are one of the steel workers, who are working right here in Newport News? And you have given up wage increases in exchange for better healthcare? Well, Senator McCain believes you should pay higher taxes too. The bottom line, the better your healthcare plan, the harder you fought for your good benefits, the higher the taxes you’ll pay under John McCain’s plan.
But now, under Obamacare, he’d be imposing exactly what he criticized McCain for proposing: a massive tax hike on American workers’ health insurance. Emanuel would later reveal how it took some convincing to get the President to go along.
Emanuel: The President campaigned against John McCain, who wanted to get rid of the tax exclusion entirely with over $100 million dollars’ worth of ads saying, you know,’Republicans are gonna tax your health benefits for the first time ever’. This was an enigma. The President was going to go back on his word. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
And there you have it. The exact same thing about which Obama REAMED McCain he was not instituting in his SIGNATURE policy.
It is going to affect a LOT of people, not just wealthy people, but all kinds of families. The impact will be significant.
The attitude of these two, especially if you watch the video, is just deplorable – so smug, arrogant, condescending, and patronizing.
And they got away with it while we are saddled with this monstrosity of a law that continues to show how poorly planned, written, and executed it was/is. Routinely now we are learning of the major issues with this law, the insurers who are backing out, the impact on states, the failure of Co-Ops, and on I could go. It is an albatross around the neck of the nation.
What is worse, thanks to the Candidate a minority of disgruntled, angry, temper tantrum throwing children selected along with a number of Democrats, the likelihood of getting this law repealed has become practically nonexistent.
As it is, and as Attkisson noted in her coverage of the Cadillac Tax, while Congress is OUTRAGED by it, their solution was to move the implementation date of the tax from 2018 to 2020.
Here’s a thought: why not pass legislation that REMOVES that tax altogether?? If they are so angry about it, why aren’t they getting rid of it instead of kicking the can down the road? That makes ZERO sense. Just one more pitiful response by those elected to serve us.
I could go on and on about the disaster that is Obamacare, but I am going to let you chime in on this issue or whatever else is on your minds today. This is an Open Thread.