Unions being heard in health care debate
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Unions are fighting hard on Capitol Hill to prevent a tax on many union health plans from becoming a final part of a national overhaul of the health care system. The Associated Press covered the issue last week saying

At issue for the labor unions is a proposed 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies, keyed to premiums paid on health care plans costing more than $8,500 annually for individuals and $23,000 for families. The tax would raise some $150 billion over 10 years to help pay for the Democrats' nearly $1 trillion health care bill. The legislation, which appears to be edging closer to passage, would revamp the U.S. health care system with new requirements on individuals and employers designed to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

The plan would essentially tax people who have been buying their health care in order to pay for those who have not. Similar measures are already in place in many states in the country to provide funds for a ��free care pool�� or ��uncompensated care pool�� whereby medical providers are reimbursed by the state for services given to those who do not have coverage.