Crazy Like A Fox: Karl Rove Declares Victory In Healthcare Conflict

Illustration for article titled Crazy Like A Fox: Karl Rove Declares Victory In Healthcare Conflict

Today's headline made me curse out loud. "The GOP Is Winning the Health-Care Debate," the Wall Street Journal screams. Muttering to myself about talking points, I looked down and saw the byline. Karl Rove? You can't trust that fuckbag!


What is that, The Secret for the GOP? If we say it's so, we make it so? And he's quoting both Gallup polls and Faux News, meaning: I wasted three minutes of my life on this crap.

However, the health care battle continues to rage onward. As we roll towards reconciliation, all of our lawmakers have their eye on one thing: cost. Attempting to make the bill as cost-effective as possible, the House and Senate are both looking at taxation. But who pays?

Legislation emerging from the House would slap a surtax on upper-income people. But many Democrats, especially in the Senate, fear the political fallout over voting to raise anyone's income taxes.

The most prominent Senate bill would impose a tax on insurance companies that provide expensive policies, sometimes dubbed "Cadillac" plans. But labor unions — a powerful force within the Democratic Party — bitterly oppose the idea,
saying the tax would be passed on to workers in the form of higher premiums or shrunken benefits. [...]

Legislation approved by the chamber's Ways and Means Committee would impose an income tax surcharge of up to 5.4% on individuals who make more than $280,000 and on couples with more than $350,000 annual income.

That, however, did not sit well with centrist Democrats and others from high-cost regions. So House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has called for raising the bill's thresholds to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for couples. [...]

A bill being debated in the Finance Committee would impose a 40% excise tax on insurance companies for plans whose cost exceeds $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for families.

Proponents argue that such a steep tax would create an incentive for insurance companies and employers to stop providing such expensive plans, thus helping to slow the growth of healthcare costs. And though companies may drop expensive plans, the CBO has said, the proposal nevertheless would raise revenues because it assumes employers who scale back coverage would repay workers by raising salaries or increasing taxable compensation in other ways.


And the battle continues.

In the meantime, here's part of Keith Olbermann's special comment where he illustrates his frustration with health care reform using the tale of his father's journey through the health care system:

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The GOP Is Winning The Health-Care Debate [WSJ]
Democrats Face Dilemma On Taxes To Pay For Healthcare [LA Times]

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Erin Gloria Ryan

Two things

1. Publicly traded companies are not going to raise salaries to make up for the fact that they're using less expensive employee health plans. They're in the business of making profits to please shareholders. Despite what Ben Bernanke says, this recession is not over in the sense that businesses and individuals will be feeling the effects of it for awhile before things on a micro level get better. Companies have trimmed themselves to bare bones staff and aren't rehiring in order to preserve the illusion that they're profitable. They're certainly not going to scare already skittery investors further by cutting away at a potential source of future profit on paper (cost cutting via going skimpy on the health care plan).

2. Just as everyone feared when Murdoch bought the WSJ, his crazypantsness is creeping from the conservative editorial page into the main pages of his paper. I trust the WSJ for basic information, but I no longer look to it for a nuanced and balanced approach to business goings on. It's heading in the direction of becoming Fox: The Newspaper. Srsly.