FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama said over and over during the campaign that cameras would be allowed to cover the health care negotiations. He lied. No cameras permitted at the secret talks to reconcile the Senate and House versions of health care reform. And for good reason.
The White House and Congressional Democrats have cut a deal with union leaders to limit the reach of a tax on high-end health insurance plans. Health plans covered by union contracts will be exempt from the 40-percent tax until 2018... $60 billion worth of exempt.
Taxing so-called "Cadillac" plans was supposed to be one of the ways to pay for this massive overhaul - but under this deal, taxes will only raise $90 billion instead of the expected $150 billion over 10 years.
Union leaders were at the negotiating table for three days... while of course cameras weren't.
President Obama and the Democrats are digging their graves here - with what critics are calling a "sweetheart deal."
This is nothing but naked politics... union leaders had warned earlier that Democrats could lose their support if the final health care bill included a tax on Cadillac Plans. So the leadership paid them off to the tune of $60 billion. All done out of sight of the news media and the public.
Meanwhile - the fate of health care reform could depend on who wins that special election to replace Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. A lot of people feel health care reform could be dead if the Democrats lose that Senate seat today.
Here’s my question to you: Are you surprised unions were invited into secret health care negotiations?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Why would anyone be surprised that unions were in the meetings? This administration is corrupt. They needed all these organizations and need to pay them off to retain their support. If you enlist the devil's support to win, there is always a payment in the end. This is the start of the end of the Obama administration and Democrat rule.
Walt from Salt Lake City, Utah writes:
Jack, Not surprised at all, this president campaigned on "openness," "transparency" and "change." It wasn't going to be "business as usual" under his presidency. My God, how many of us really believed him and voted this hypocrite into office?
Casey from Ruth, California writes:
I guess that makes up for all the insurance and pharma lobbies in secret negotiations with Republican senators.
Rod from Chicago writes:
I hope the Republican wins in Mass. and this whole mess of flawed stupid legislation is flushed for something that actually helps people instead of politicians.
Bob from Lafayette, California writes:
No. Unions are a major constituency of the Democratic Party and those union health care plans were bargained for at the expense of wage gains. So no wonder union leadership fought hard to keep their gains. That's what unions do. No different than the oil lobbyists who met with Cheney secretly to develop our energy policy. That is how things get done in Washington.
Corey from Georgia writes:
No, Jack, I'm not surprised. Whether it's behind-the-door health care negotiations or undercover lobbyists, the American people are constantly being ignored. It's beyond contemptible.
Richard from Wisconsin writes:
Of course not. The unions and Obama have been in bed together since the beginning of his campaign. I agree with you, I live in Wisconsin and I can smell it here.