More on the Latest Union Payoff

Rich Lowery takes a look at the “rank deal” that has bought big labor’s endorsement of the president’s health care reform bill. The New York Post takes the criticism a step further:

It took two days of wrangling behind closed White House doors under the demanding gaze of big-labor bosses, but President Obama won a major health-care victory yesterday.

The same can’t be said of America.

The deal in a nutshell: a big, fat wet kiss for labor unions, which won exemption from a proposed 40 percent tax on on expansive private health-insurance plans until 2018.

Meanwhile, those with generous plans that are not the product of collective-bargaining agreements get to pay beginning immediately.

And to pay and pay and pay.

The tax (along with deep cuts in Medicare funding) was meant to be the chief funding mechanism for Obama’s plan.

But now that unions have been effectively exempted, the cash will have to come from elsewhere: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed “millionaire’s tax” on high earners, perhaps; there’s even talk of slapping a Medicare tax on investment income.

C-SPAN was barred from the Senate-House-White House negotiations — but labor fat-cats like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union head Andy Stern and various teacher and government-employee representatives were on hand to make sure the pols toed the line.

And toe it they did.

It’s now pretty clear the Democrats will say anything, do anything and spend anything to shove some health-care deal — any deal — through.

The union carve-out is perhaps the most egregious example of special-interest pandering, but doubtless other side deals are being cut as well.

And none of them, you can bet, will help restore any of the hundreds of millions of dollars set to be stripped from federal health-care aid to New York.

The irony, of course, is that anything resembling equitable health-care reform was gutted a long time ago, in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desperate attempt to collect votes.

What’s left is a bill that barely pleases 60 senators, maybe 218 friends in the House and a few Big Labor fixers — while Obama’s job-performance polls drop like a rock amongst hard-working Americans doing their best to make ends meet.

Talk about a terrible deal.