Looks like there’s trouble in Beltway taxaholics’ paradise. There are multiple reports that Democrats are backing off a key proposal to tax health benefits to pay for the trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.
WSJ: “A Senate Democrat involved in negotiations on legislation to overhaul the health-care system said senators may be souring on a plan to tax some employer-provided health benefits. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that public polls conducted over the July 4 congressional recess and reviewed by senators are causing lawmakers to have second thoughts about limiting the tax exclusion for employer health plans.”
Bloomberg: Senators May Drop Tax Plan for Worker Health Benefits
AP: “Tax on health benefits fading?”
But hey, don’t worry. They’ll find something else to tax. Just give ’em time.
More trouble on the Obamacare front?
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published today, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, suggested the administration is open to negotiations on one of President Obama’s central goals for a health care bill: a government-sponsored insurance plan – a “public option,” in Washington argot – that would compete with the private sector.
“The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest. The goal is non-negotiable; the path is” negotiable, the newspaper quoted Mr. Emanuel as saying.
But Mr. Emanuel did not get the last word. Within hours, the chief of staff was big-footed – all the way from Moscow — by his boss, Mr. Obama, who is in Russia prior to the meeting of the “Group of Eight” economic powers. The White House issued an official statement declaring that Mr. Obama remains committed to the public option.
Nutroots aren’t happy.
Related must-read: Statist health care, by the numbers