President to Meet With Unions Regarding the Health Tax

Richard Eskow

Amid indications from President Obama that he wants the House to adopt the Senate’s health tax, we learn that he will meet with labor to discuss their concerns about the tax’s effect on middle-class American workers. Sam Stein reports in The Huffington Post that the President “is planning to meet with union leaders in the next few days in order to address their opposition” to the tax.

The President is expected to meet with the leaders in a group setting, reports Stein, and sources report he is not going to pressure them. “It was stressed that the gathering would not be an attempt by the administration to strong-arm unions into dropping their objections,” writes Stein, “but rather an opportunity to hash out some of the disagreements that they have with the proposal.”

We are a big fan of Sam Stein’s reporting around here, which is why we hope he’ll stop repeating conventional wisdom like this: “The proposal (is) believed to be extremely important in getting health care costs under control.” That notion has been challenged by more than nineteen studies and papers released in recent weeks. The nation’s leading health economist was quoted in yesterday’s Washington Post saying the idea is “nonsense.”

And, while this is not Sam’s fault, he uses the “Cadillac tax” misnomer in the headline. He has to, of course, since the tax has come to be known by that name. But it’s a deeply misleading phrase, as false and manipulative as “death tax.” Hope we can get it replaced with something more accurate – like “tax which randomly selects middle-class employees and costs them more money while reducing access to health care.” Think it’ll catch on?

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