The Senate health care bill, which Martha Coakley supports, contains a massive tax on the middle class which will hit union members particularly hard. The tax on so-called "Cadillac" health plans is opposed by organized labor, and could be a big reason why union rank-and-file members in Massachusetts vote for Scott Brown.
In the past days, the unions have been huddled with Obama trying to work out an exemption for union health plans from the tax. This exemption is opposed by progressives who understand the implications because it would create two tiers of workers and further isolate unions from the majority of American workers.
Whether a deal gets worked out, and how it would affect the ultimate passage of the bill, remains to be seen.
One thing is clear. News of a "tentative" deal is being leaked for the specific purpose of easing the pressure on Martha Coakley in the election next Tuesday.
Even a tentative deal, however, will not necessarily pass, and it may be changed in closed-door negotiations which will not be revealed until after the special election.
Any Massachusetts union worker who votes for Coakley because of this tentative deal is being played for a sucker. So get ready to be sucker punched on January 20.
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