Union Deal Latest ObamaCare Outrage

BlogQuestion011910.pngQuestion: In what kind of country are laws applied differently for politically favored constituents?

If you said “constitutional republic” you are half right; just replace “constitutional” with “banana” and you have a fairly accurate description of what Barack Obama’s America is shaping up to be.

Consider the “deal” struck between The White House and union leaders on Thursday. According to the Washington Post:

The agreement, forged in a marathon negotiating session that included White House officials and seven prominent labor leaders…

And not, it might be added, captured for posterity by C-SPAN cameras, in spite of the President’s oft repeated, oft mocked promise that he would allow Brian Lamb’s crew in to broadcast health care negotiations. The Post reports that the agreement:

…would exempt union members from a proposed surtax on expensive insurance plans until 2018, five years after the legislation would take effect.

And what surtax would union members be “exempt” from, exactly? The 40 percent surtax on high-end, or “Cadillac” insurance plans which the Senate, and the President, seem to think necessary to finance their heath care overhaul legislation.

The problem is that many unions have negotiated such sweet insurance plans for their members in collective bargaining; by some estimates, as many as one in four union households are “Cadillac” insurance owners. Those households, if the deal holds, would now be exempt from a tax to be levied on other holders of the same kinds of policies (the vast majority of such policy holders make under $250,000 a year) until 2018, “giving labor leaders time to negotiate new contracts.”

Well, how nice for them. And how unlucky for the average, non-union, middle or blue class worker who has accepted such insurance in lieu of higher wages, who is not considered a valuable member of the Obama coalition. Put simply; unions are now promised exemption from an onerous new tax by the Democratic president whom they spent tens of million to help elect.

This is only the latest in a long line of deals made behind closed doors to keep the health care train moving along, deals which have promised exemption for one group or state from fiscal and legal burdens to be born by others. This is basket-case democracy, a troubling sign that power is consolidating in Washington in the manner usually seen in only nominally free, or nakedly unfree, states.

When a nation no longer applies its laws equally, it ceases to be a nation of laws and becomes a nation of men, where faction is pitted against faction, citizen against citizen, and the whims of a few govern the lives of the multitude.

In other words, exactly what our Founders were trying to avoid when they established this great republic.

Written by Matt Patterson, policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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