No, To Soaking the Workers; Yes, To Soaking the Rich
No to Taxing Health Benefits; Yes, To Taxing the Rich
by Phil E. Benjamin
“House Democrats will be asking wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase…..”
This is the latest news concerning the financing of health care. What is not linked to this NY Times front page story [July 11th] is the other path that all Republicans and too many Democrats wanted to travel, i.e., taxing of workers health benefits.
The announcement of this TAX the RICH direction came from House Ways and Means Chair, NY Congressman Charles Rangel. It was Rangel who recently survived an ethics committee attack from Republicans and too many Democrats which would have removed him from that powerful House position. It was Rangel who recently announced, along with Senate Majority Leader Reed, that there would be no TAXING OF WORKERS’ HEALTH BENEFITS as a way to pay for health reform.
With the White House saying that the health reform legislation must be able to pay for itself, the money would either come from workers or the rich. With this strong statement from Rangel and the one from Reed, it is not up to health care activists to continue pressure of Senate Finance Chair, Max Baucus; and, Senate Health Chair, Ted Kennedy, to follow their lead.
The logic is simple. Workers have already paid for their health benefits by accepting less wages and even some their pensions to keep their health benefits. This has been necessary given the private/market based health system in our country.
And, the tax give a ways to the rich over the past 30 years, must come to and end with a payback for the social and economic needs of the country as a whole and working class people in particular.
Moving in that direction can also set the stage for funding public health infrastructure projects [local and state health departments getting ready for the Fall, ’09 H1N1 flu potential], public hospital and community clinics support, and the greatly needed expansion of the Federal National Health Corps which must train the hundreds and thousands of primary care doctors the country needs in rural and urban areas. In the Federal Health Service Corps medical students matriculate at NO tuition, in return for working in rural and urban places in medical needs.
KEEP UP THE PRESSURE. ALL HEALTH CARE ACTIVISTS MUST KEEP THE PRESSURE ON THE HOUSE AND SENATE!!!!! THE PRESSURE IS WORKING; KEEP IT UP.