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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, November 04, 2005

How's that again?

One man's (or woman's) tax is another man's free ride. Or as Russell Long allegedly proclaimed long ago "don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax the man behind the tree."

Massachusetts business lobbyists are opposed to the payroll tax included as part of the House-passed health care bill. Bad for business, they say, mouthing the usual talking points.

Funny, thing though. Under the current system, businesses that provide health insurance for their employees also pay a surcharge that is used to subsidize the uncompensated or "free care" pool. The state, insurers and the hospitals also kick in to provide for care for people without coverage. So in effect, the only ones who get away cheap are the businesses that stiff their employees in the first place.

The bill makes accommodations for the size of the business and even the size of the salaries. It is the first serious attempt to do something about the soaring costs of health care in a decade.

Responsible business leaders say the system needs reform. But of course, the man behind the tree should pay for it. That would be all of us (except them.)


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