Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In this video, it's good to see the Progressive Senators Frankin, Sanders and Brown fired up on all cylinders.
Republicans, who have driven the conversation regarding just how the healthcare bill will be payed for, have also pushed for rules that would lay the burden of the costs on moderate to middle income earners receiving employer based health care, presumably in an attempt to inspire public fury to help defeat the bill or to insulate the wealthy from a progressive tax, all the while protecting the escalating profit margins of healthcare insurance providers.
Senator Al Frankin (D-MN), along with Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are sponsoring an amendment that would remove the 40 per cent excise tax on employer based healthcare insurance currently written into the Senate bill and replace it with a progressive tax, aligning it closer to the House bill.
A letter which the three Progressive Senators are circulating in the Halls states, "While we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the last thing the American middle class need right now is a tax on their health benefits." The letter also said: "99.98% of individuals and 99.92% of families would not see their taxes go up by one dime under the Sanders-Brown-Franken Amendment."
In an attempt to derail the progressive Senators' agenda, Senator Thune (R-SouthDakota) had declared that Americans would see no benefits until 2016 while taxes would begin immediately, fueling the image of a bureaucracy unable to deliver. Frankin called out Thune, his "friend from across the aisle" for either not reading the healthcare bill or purposefully misrepresenting facts about when the benefits will begin.
"Let's have an honest debate, for goodness sakes. Let's not put up charts that contend one thing that are just not true.” said Frankin. “We are entitled to our own opinions. We are not entitled to our own facts.”
The Senators claim their amendment would raise $151 billion over ten years -- two billion dollars more than the estimated revenue from the excise tax.
Other healthcare bill fights Progressive Lions are leading include:
Sanders prescription drug importation rights
Frankin on Women’s Reproduction Rights