Friday, June 05, 2009

Tell me lies

Tell me sweet little lies.

This week at work I've heard 2 people tell me the following: "I hear Obama wants to tax our health care benefits, now." I'm not sure where this tidbit of misinformation came from, but I imagine it was Rush or Fox or some equally deceitful media.

Fact: Obama never proposed any such method to fund his health care initiative. Indeed, he has a totally different mechanism. The proposal was made by Senator Max Baucus this week to Obama and the President said that he's open to discussing that option, but preferred to stick to his original plan. Indeed, Mr. Baucus' proposal is idiotic beyond contemplation as it would surely deep six any health care changes and it's regressive.

Another fact: This proposal would only tax health care premiums; not actual costs. So, for instance, the elderly man in my store yesterday whose wife had a rare condition that cost $100,000+ to treat would not pay taxes on the $100,000, but rather on whatever premium he and his wife paid to their insurer. The difference is significant.

I doubt this proposal will make it into any version of the final bill. Obama would be wise to let the Senator know that this is unacceptable. His folks would also be wise to get out in public ahead of this lie and let the people know that it's unacceptable. I am not a fan of Obama's health care plan in that I don't think it goes far enough. I'd prefer a single payer system as it's the only way that I can see to reduce costs, expand coverage, and provide modest comfort to the aging boomer population. I think the patchwork being considered is ridiculous and is doomed to failure. However, I don't need lies to debate it either.

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