Thursday, July 25, 2019

HEROIC: House Democrats Join Republicans to Repeal Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac tax’

By Robert Wenzel

Well, there is one thing to cheer about that the House of Representatives did right in the current 116th Congress.

House Democrats joined with Republicans to repeal the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer health insurance.

The vote, which occurred last Wednesday, was 419-to-6.

“Today, we’ll honor our promise to the hard-working men and women of the labor as we lift the Cadillac tax protecting health benefits that workers have negotiated,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at the time.

The tax, which has been delayed several times from going into effect, would impose a 40 percent excise tax beginning in 2022 on employer-provided health benefits that exceed $11,200 for an individual and $30,100 for a family.

Now, there may be a hurdle to killing it in the Senate.

The Washington Post reports that the Senate has a similar bill with bipartisan support, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet said whether he will bring it up for a vote. McConnell has been reluctant to take up health-care legislation. In the Senate, the bill has 21 Democratic and 21 Republican co-sponsors.

There are indications that McConnell is trying to drum up support so he can ignore the bill.

Republican establishment Washington Post columnist George Will wrote yesterday:
The vote against the “Cadillac tax” was 419 to 6, a reminder that “bipartisanship” often is the political class coming together to sacrifice the national interest to its own.
Yup., George thinks there is a "national interest" on not killing the tax.

Here is the fact, George is really not a small-government Republican. Behind his concern that the end of the tax is not in the national interest is this:
Repeal of the promised tax of 40 percent on a portion of the most lavish employer-provided health-care plans would enlarge projected budget deficits by almost $200 billion over a decade. 
If George were really a small-government Republican, he could find an easy solution to prevent the enlargement of the deficit: Cut spending somewhere else by $200 billion over the next 10-years!

But you have to wonder why Will is really complaining about the bill if it is not to provide support for McConnell, because he does a backflip and offers another strange argument against the tax that is completely inconsistent with his first argument. he writes:
 But repeal this year does not matter: The tax will never be collected.
So I say, why not put another bullet in the head of the tax instead of keeping it on the shelf for when The Squad is bigger and has control of both the House and the Senate, even if it will "never" be collected.

Any time there is an opportunity to kill bad bills, and all tax increase bills are bad bills, they should be killed!

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.comand Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bankand most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.

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