President Obama Sells His Health Care Plan

Thursday, July 16, 2009

President Obama is aggressively selling his health care plan to both the American people and the U.S. Congress. On Tuesday the House unveiled its health care reform bill and yesterday the Senate got its plan through committee—by a slim margin. Both plans guarantee insurance for most Americans. But they raise taxes on high-income people while providing subsidies to Americans at moderate-to low income levels. Both plans also penalize employers who do not provide health benefits to workers. For a look at how the president is selling the plan, The Takeaway talks to Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist and the president of Lake Research.

Here is one way the plan is being sold—Heartfelt advertising:

Guests:

Celinda Lake

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya

Contributors:

Samantha Fields and Noel King

Comments [1]

Richard Johnston

If among the goals of health-care reform is restraining costs, it makes no sense to allow companies to pay unlimited amounts for their employees' insurance without any of it being taxable to the employee. A typical archaic "indemnity" health-insurance plan (you go to the doctor, pay the bill and get reimbursed for your expense fully) costs about $2000 a month per employee. Yes, a month, averaging single, employee+1 and family coverage. Family coverage can amount to $3000 a month.
Rather than this $2000 or $3000 being fully non-taxable, it would be in the national interest for the government to cost a generous "managed care" health plan, adjusting for regional variances, then tell employers if they wanted to give their employees extravagant benefits, the value of the extravagance would be taxable income to the employees, the same as a company-provided car or a country-club membership is. The US taxpayer should not be subsidizing expenses that result from corporate irresponsibility.

Jul. 16 2009 09:14 AM

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