Within hours of President Obama's campaign speech before Congress – a new fissure was exposed. Among Democrats.
Here's the backdrop. In order to raise revenue for his health care takeover, Obama said he wants to "charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies." This would supposedly "encourage" the evil insurance companies to "provide greater value for the money." He said it would also "help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long run."
The President couldn't explain how higher taxes would create better value – because it is nonsense. It's so illogical, not even a first-year economic student would make that argument. The truth is, higher taxes would be the equivalent of a "death panel" for premium health care plans. Inevitably, such plans would be killed – and those who have them would be punished.
Less than 24 hours after Obama's speech, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel said he isn't planning to include any premium insurance tax in the House bill. Now, Rangel is normally a huge proponent of higher taxes. But he knows what side his bread is buttered on.
What's the only reason a Democrat wouldn't want to tax premium health plans? Because Big Labor doesn't want them taxed! Unions say they gave up wage increases to win the premium plans in the first place, and their message is: Hands off our perks!
For Democrats, this is about self-interest – keeping their big donors happy. As it always is.