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The Obamacare Union Carve-Out and Thomas P.M. Barnett on Haitian Relief

Saturday, January 16, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Comparing Martha Coakley to a box of rocks is unfair to the box, and the “Schilling is another Yankees fan” gaffe should persuade even the most ardent Democrat that Coakley is not one of the regular folks. The lame attempt to pass Coakley’s ignorance of the Red Sox legend off as a joke won’t work either, as the Powerline transcript makes clear. But the real reason for Democrats, Independents and Republicans to support Scott Brown is to kill off Obamacare.

Voters could indeed decide the fate of Obamacare in the Massachusetts senate election. Barney Frank has declared that a Brown victory will kill the bill, another reason to contribute to Brown’s campaign today. As part of the debate, analysts and especially economists should begin to examine the unions’ sweetheart deal that carves out their members’ health care benefits from the burden of Obamacare’s 40% excise tax on so-called “Cadillac plans.”

Not only does this carve-out outrageously treat nearly identically-situated Americans differently –same income, same health plan, but the union member is spared an enormous tax burden and the non-union member or his company pay it– the impact of the exemption will be of far more consequence and a far greater advantage to organized labor than even the very controversial “card check” proposal. Imagine the extraordinary advantage that will fall to companies like GM –already a government car company– when it doesn’t have to pay any of the tax but non-unionized car companies do have to pay it. The same advantage will roll through the economy, with every unionized business benefitting and every non-union company in effect paying a premium for staying non-union. Even long time opponents of unionization will have to reconsider their stance given the cost advantage now open to companies providing their health insurance through collective bargaining.

Democratic senators like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln and the so-called Blue Dogs in the House, already in deep trouble in their home states because of Obamacare’s massive unpopularity, are now stuck supporting an enormous give-away to organized labor, one that penalizes every other citizen. The Obama-Pelosi-Reid negotiators managed to take a very bad bill and make it far worse.

Pray that Brown wins and Barney Frank is right. Obamacare is a disaster on many levels and it just got much worse.

I interviewed Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett on yesterday’s program —the transcript is here. Barnett is the author of The Pentagon’s New Map and Great Powers, and he and his company devote a great deal of time and thought to third world development and disaster recovery. If you are concerned with the aftermath of the earthquake and a long-lasting recovery for Haiti, read both books.

Finally, here are four organizations at work in Haiti today that could use your help:

ChildHope.org

BeyondBorders.net

The Haitian-American Friendship Foundation

WorldConcern.org

.

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