Clinton Campaign Spokesman Brian Fallon Says Healthcare Insurance Premiums Aren’t Paid by Families and Employers, Because They’re Paid to Private For-Profit Insurers. Seriously.
“Bernie Sanders has called for a roughly 9-percent tax hike on middle-class families just to cover his health-care plan,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, referring to legislation Sanders introduced in 2013, “and simple math dictates he’ll need to tax workers even more to pay for the rest of his at least $18-20 trillion agenda. If you are truly concerned about raising incomes for middle-class families, the last thing you should do is cut their take-home pay right off the bat by raising their taxes.”
— Clinton hits Sanders on middle class tax hikes, Annie Karni, Politico, yesterday
No, actually, that’s the third-last thing you should do. The very last thing you should do is fail to recognize that money is fungible. And the second-last thing you should do is ignore simple math.
As in: If you and your employer are no longer paying exorbitant premiums to Anthem Blue Cross, and are instead paying significantly less for your healthcare insurance in the form of a tax, you’ll end up with more, y’know, income. Especially if your employer uses the savings to increase your salary or wages.
Last weekend, the big read-my-lips-no-new-taxes-on-the-middle-class Clinton line was about the horror of Sanders’s plan to pay for guaranteed family-and-medical leave was through a payroll tax. But then Sanders pointed out that this would be a tax of (I think he said) $1.35 a week. Which, to many Democrats, sounds like a good deal.
So it was on to Plan B for the Clinton folks. Then again, Clinton really does seem to be a fan of Anthem Blue Cross, United Health Care, Humana, et al. And math is not her forte.
Yesterday, in a response to a comment to this post of mine, I wrote:
And, yes, I wish she would talk less like a Madison Avenue copywriter and more like some semblance of someone who can speak in normal and logical statements.
Either she’s trained her spokesman well or he’s trained her well. In any event, it’s a hallmark of the Clinton campaign.
But I doubt that misrepresenting to the public that Sanders’ single-payer healthcare tax would be in addition to premiums paid to private insurance companies is a very viable campaign tactic. Clinton is running a Republican-style campaign but she is not running for the Republican nomination. And this is, after all, 2015.