In their latest effort to pass a health care bill by any means necessary, Democrats have struck a "tentative deal" with their big labor allies to exempt union benefits from a tax on high value health care plans, CongressDaily reports.
The idea itself is nothing new. Back in June, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus floated the idea of shielding union benefits from the new tax, but it was set aside. In September, President Obama declined to take a clear position on this so-called "carve out." But now that the excise tax has become a sticking point in negotiations between the House and Senate -- and one that threatens to cost Democrats union support for the bill -- the exemption idea is evidently back in play.
If this policy is adopted, it would mean that there could be two Americans receiving the exact same benefits, but one American may be taxed and one wouldn't, and the only difference would be one of them being a member of a union. This is unseemly and unfair, even by the standards of Obamacare. It has nothing to do with policy-making. It's simply an outright bribe to a constituency that has contributed handily to Democratic campaigns.
UPDATE: New details here.