"We will move forward."
That was Speaker Pelosi's response this morning when asked about the future of the health care bill, less than 24 hours after Scott Brown's epic upset in Massachusetts. That kind of arrogance has come to represent the Democrats' health care overhaul. With each detail voters learn about Pelosi-care, the more obvious it has become that Democrats will break most any promise to the American people and cut just about any sweetheart deal, no matter how cynical, to score a political victory.
Just last week, as Democrats reconciled healthcare behind closed doors at the White House, negotiations took a particularly insidious and destructive turn. President Obama and Pelosi Democrats made concrete promises to the American people: Health care legislation was going to lower the cost of American's health insurance premiums; Negotiations over health care were going to be broadcast live on C-SPAN; No legislation from Democrats would tax Americans making less than $200,000 per year.
Those promises were quickly forgotten.
When news leaked out last week, from the closed-door negotiations, that Democrats were going to include a major tax on "Cadillac" health plans, national union leaders were immediately sent into crisis mode. And with good reason.
It's estimated that the tax on Cadillac plans would raise taxes on 38% of Americans making less than $200,000 per year. This state of panic prompted AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to declare that the bill will tax huge swaths of the middle class - and hard.
Trumka said: This "bill taxes the middle class by taxing workers' health plans. Not just union members' health care plans, in fact most of the 31 million uninsured or injured employees who will be hit by the excise tax are not union members. The benefits tax ... puts its working Americans who need health care for their families against working Americans struggling to keep health insurance for their family."