In pushing a giant step closer to a health care reform deal, Democratic leaders are once again drawing fire from their critics for extending special treatment to an interest group in exchange for its support of the bill.
The latest deal was struck Thursday among the White House, Congress and union leaders over the proposed tax on high-value "Cadillac" health insurance plans."
Unions had objected strongly to the proposed tax on high-value insurance policies, fearing it would hurt their members, and they won several concessions from the administration. Under the deal, if it becomes law, union workers will be shielded from the 40 percent tax for five years -- until 2018. The threshold for the tax also was raised so that it will kick in for plans worth $24,000 instead of $23,000. And dental and vision coverage will not count toward that threshold.
But what about everybody else?
Everybody else is stuck paying the bill. In fact, such a deal is a blatant violation of the fourteenth amendment, which clearly states that everyone will be treated equally under the law.
These sorts of backroom deals have become a hallmark of the Obama administration, and especially so in the health care debate. We all know about the so called Cornhusker exemption given to Senator Ben Nelson. Senator Nelson is now struggling in Nebrasak. Fortunately for him, his next race isn't until 2012.
Still, anyone that signs on to this deal is showing their naked partisan leanings. The unions get out the vote for Democrats, and now it's payback time.
It should also be noted that Scott Brown has made all sorts of hay with his disdain for these sorts of backroom deals. As such, the OPTICS of this deal will do no favors for Martha Coakley.