The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

“Cadillac Tax”—A Jalopy for Workers

Sep 16, 2013

One little-known part of the federal mandatory health insurance law, often referred to as “Obamacare,” is that it puts a 40 percent tax on high-cost employer-provided health insurance plans. Such plans are commonly called “Cadillac health insurance.”

The law’s definition of “Cadillac” insurance is based solely on the cost of the premiums. It says nothing about the quality of the care workers actually receive. In reality, corporate CEOs are about the only employees who get true “Cadillac” care.

The law does not take effect until 2018, yet state and local governments are already using it now as an excuse to push unions to agree to accept lower cost health care plans. Along with lower premiums, however, usually come higher deductibles and co-pays, which means sick people will pay more.

The politicians pretend the purpose of the tax is to make workers be “more responsible consumers” and question expensive tests and shop around for better care. They act like workers go in for all kinds of unnecessary medical care. What planet are they living on? Most people don’t have the time or money for wasteful doctor visits, and depend on trained medical professionals to order the tests and procedures they need.

What we’re really seeing is the working class being stripped of the few benefits they’ve won in the past–and this fake “national health insurance law” takes things one step further in that direction.