- Apr 4, 2009
- Reaction score
Big Business, GOP Complain That Health Reform Slashes Corporate Welfare
The Republican Party and major corporations have joined forces in the first major rearguard attack on health care reform, charging that the cost of complying with "Obamacare" is resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in added business expenses.
The crime that reform is guilty of: Slashing corporate welfare.
Under the previous system, major corporations were subsidized by the government to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. At the same time, corporations could claim on their tax returns that it was they -- not the taxpayers -- who paid for the drug coverage, and could write the expense off as a tax deduction.
Health care reform cuts out that fat. The corporations still get taxpayer money to help pay for their drug coverage, but they can no longer continue the fiction that they're using their own money to do it.
Being forced to operate on a diet of leaner corporate welfare benefits will make U.S. companies less able to compete, Republicans argue. Removing the benefit will also force large corporations to compete on a level -- or at least closer to level -- playing field with small businesses, who don't get the subsidy. The charge-offs play into the line that Republicans are pushing -- namely that health care reform is a "job killer."
"Harry Truman once said, 'There are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of the other people - the 150 or 160 million - is the responsibility of the president of the United States, and I propose to fulfill it.'"
President John F. Kennedy