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Saturday, January 9, 2010

AFTRA launches grass roots against taxing health insurance coverage

Unions launch fight against taxing their health insurance

Unions are on the offensive to block state and federal "Cadillac" taxes on their health plans. AFTRA was the first of the entertainment unions to fire a volley, according to SAG Watch.  Health care reform, or the Reid plan, or as some inaccuratly call the senate bill, Obamacare, provides needed protections on pre-exisiting conditions and portability of health care, but Republican amendments (on a bill they later voted against) will tax many health care plans that are flush with cash and offer well above national average coverage and care, including the plans from SAG and AFTRAWhile not officially going on record, SAG suported overall health care reform, with SAG leadership coming out storngly in favor of issues including universal coverage and single payer options, both of which are not in the current legislation.

The entire health care debate has been muddied by special interests, people demanding their particular favorite provisions, deliberate misinformation over the Internet and media, exagerated claims on both sides amplified over living room tables, and a well financed allegedly grass roots (follow the money, and it is obvious that the same people who push to destroy unions with right to work legislation are also behind moves to defeat health care reform).

It is a miracle that for the first time in history, despite stong efforts by four Republican and four Democratic former presidents, President Obama and Nevada Senator Harry Reid will deliver some form of reform.

Meanwhile, there remains the issue of who will pay for it and if it is fair to use it as a way to weaken unions, such as SAG and AFTRA, by taxing health care plans.

Then too is the issue of how few SAG and AFTRA members actually qualify for and are in a position to use the "Cadillac" insurance their unions offer.