Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Perhaps, it is too close to the bone, given that Lieberman was Obama's mentor when he entered the Senate in 2006. Meanwhile, as the health care bill is eviscerated in secret, the unions have gone silent, holding their powder again until after all the important decisions have been made. A visit to the AFL-CIO home page reveals that the emphasis upon the public option has been replaced by a new theme, Don't tax our health benefits. An television ad to this effect, absent any reference to the public option, is also posted there. Sadly, the AFL-CIO is conducting itself as predicted after it allowed the Baucus bill to escape the Senate Finance Committee without opposition:
After more than a week of secret negotiation in the Senate, most of what the liberals attempted to insert into the Baucus bill has been jettisoned. All that remains is the illusion of a reconciliation process with the House whereby enough crumbs are tossed the way of the AFL-CIO in order for it to claim victory.
One wonders how their members are going to react when they discover that, starting in 2013, many of them are going to be facing a 40% surcharge on portions of the health plans, plans that actually provide decent coverage, because they are considered, in the words of the President and others, Cadillac plans.
One suspects that, in the end, organized labor will soften the blow of this provision during reconciliation, without fully eliminating it, and call it a victory after the Baucus bill is signed.