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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOTU Healthcare Proposal Has Unintended (?) Consequences

The healthcare proposal put forth by the president poses some interesting questions.

For instance, government workers generally receive very generous benefit packages. Bush has, perhaps cleverly, put Congress in the uncomfortable position of debating a bill that could require the Congress to reach in their own pockets to pay taxes on their own generous benefits (if the annual cost is in excess of $15,000). I view this as another tool or weapon to add to the "porkbuster" arsenal.

In addition, many union workers receive highly generous benefits. In some cases, these include annuity contributions of $4-5 per hour worked (worth $8-$10,000 to a worker who works a full year). Union influence has been waning, so it is possible the Congress may be placed in a position where it has to consider taxing these overly generous benefits in order to be fair and equitable to Americans who are not members of a union.

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