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January 14, 2010

Obama and Unions Reach Agreement on Unions' Objection to "Cadillac Plan" Surtax: Hey, Let's Just Exempt the Unions!

Well gee why didn't I think of that.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., told reporters that negotiators are pushing toward a broad agreement on the legislation by Friday, and would send the package to the Congressional Budget Office for its estimates. The agreement in principle would cover key issues such as how many Americans would get coverage, and how to pay for it. Certain issues, including restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortion, would be resolved later.

"We're shooting for tomorrow," Rangel said early Thursday after meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other leaders. "We hope to have the whole thing, as much as we can have (for the budget office) to be able to start working." The budget referees must review the legislation before Congress can cast a final vote and send the bill to Obama.

Officials familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday that options being considered to lessen the impact on union members included raising the threshold at which the tax would be levied — it's $23,000 for family plans in the Senate-passed bill — and exempting collective bargaining agreements negotiated before 2013 from the tax.

Under that scenario the tax wouldn't hit until union contracts were renegotiated, delaying its impact on most union health plans until perhaps 2015 or 2016.

You know, Captain Wonderful, I can give you the names of millions of taxpayers who could be induced to support your plan if you exclude and exempt them, too.


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posted by Ace at 12:16 PM

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