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Andrews: slippin’ trippin’ and flippin’

February 16, 2010

Rob Andrews and excise taxes

I knew it would not be long until Rob Andrews had yet another credibility problem.  Unfortunately, I was correct and the voters are kept in a fog as to their Congressman’s stance on the issues.  Surprise, Rob Andrews changed his poision on heath care excise taxes. 

You may recall on January 17, 2010 we posted that Rob was for excise taxes on health care.  See Rob Andrews: Health Care Will Not Cost a Trillion Dollars! 

Rob Andrews … is now advocating an excise tax on health care.  Excise taxes are taxes paid on the purchase of a specific good or service. 

As reported by  

“I think we could build a consensus around that kind of idea,” Andrews said of the prospects of a carved-out excise tax. 

Martha MacCullum

Then just 12 days later on February 4th, Rob Andrews tells Fox News reporter Martha MacCullum that he is opposed to an excise tax for heath care.  The revelation came During MacCullum’s Fox news show America’s Newsroom.  Rob wasted no time trying to slide to the right on this one.   Did Rob Andrews really think no one would notice this John Kerry first I was for it but now I’m against it change in position?  Andrews told MacCullum, 

I don’t think there should be an excise tax at all. My own view is that the taxation of the benefits doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and I’d like to see that be the final outcome.  

But it gets better! MacCullum then asked him the obvious question,  How do you pay for it? 

MS. MACCALLUM: That pays for a huge chunk of this bill, so then you’re back to the big problem. How do you pay for it?  

REP. ANDREWS: Well, I think you can reduce what the bill spends. I mean, I think one thing the public has said loud and clear is, spend less, and I think we’re looking for ways to be responsive to that.  

The best part is Rob further erodes his credibility by giving a non answer.  Rob the question is simple,  “How does Rob Andrews plan to pay for Obamacare?”  Tell us who you are going to tax even more to pay for this over bloaded spending? 

If you are questioning Rob’s credibility again you are not alone.  If this sounds freakishly similar to; …if I do not win my parties nomination for United States Senate I will not run for Congress  …you are correct.  Not only does he lack courage he stands for nothing. 

Luckily the voters this year have a real choice.  This Novemeber the voters can choose a man who has the courage of his convictions.  This Novemebre the voters can choose a candiadte who will tell them the truth.  This Novemebr we can all vote for Dale Glading.  Join me in supporting Dale. 

The Full Text of MacCullum’s interview with Rob Andrews is below.



MS. MACCALLUM: Well, it’s back. Democratic lawmakers taking the president’s cue. They’re working on a compromise for the insurance reform plan, stunned by the Republican victory in Massachusetts, which will erase the 60-seat supermajority in the Senate. Of course, now the Democrats are reverting to an agreement reached last month between the White House and both houses of Congress. Okay.  

President Obama says get back to work, we must finish this job.  

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) (In progress) — lesson from Massachusetts. I promise you, the answer is not to do nothing. We’ve gotta finish the job on health care. We’ve gotta finish the job on financial regulatory reform. (Applause.) We’ve got to finish the job. We’ve got to finish the job, even though it’s hard.  

MS. MACCALLUM: All right. There’s the president, “even though it’s hard.” Congressman Rob Andrews from the great state of New Jersey, my home state, a Democrat on the House Budget Committee, also chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions — good to have you here Congressman. Welcome.  

REP. ANDREWS: Sorry for the long titles of the committees, Martha.  

MS. MACCALLUM: (Laughs.) Yeah, could you work on that a little bit? We can edit things in here. Talk to me a little about this, Congressman. What are you going to reach out to Republicans on? What can Republicans actually accomplish, do you think, if they’re going to get a seat at this table?  

REP. ANDREWS: We’re going to start next week in the House on antitrust reform, you know. Right now, the price-fixing laws that apply to supermarkets, liquor stores, and T.V. networks and everybody else do not apply to the health insurance industry. So a lot of people on both sides have expressed the view that those laws ought to. So next week on the House floor, we’re going to put up a very simply bill that says that were going to remove that exemption, and try to pass it together.  

MS. MACCALLUM: All right, so what is that, what does that mean? I mean, you know, in a way that people can understand, does that kinda have to do with cross-boarder purchasing of health-care plans and things like that?  

REP. ANDREWS: What it will mean is that health insurance companies have to compete against each other —  


REP. ANDREWS: — on the basis of quality and price. Presently, they don’t. You know, it’s odd that if the executives of two health insurance firms got together this morning, and made an agreement that said, you know what, let’s not charge less than $15,000 for a policy, it’s legal, they can do it, and this would make it illegal to do it. The same way it’s illegal for supermarket owners to fix the price of food.  

MS. MACCALLUM: So you know —  

REP. ANDREWS: I think it’s pretty sensible.  

MS. MACCALLUM: I think it sounds sensible. And I know that one of the things about cross-state purchasing of health-care plans, a lot of companies say, why can’t I buy, like I do with other insurance, a cheaper version that’s in Alabama. But one of the problems, especially in a state like New Jersey, is where there are so many state mandates that are built in, companies have to assure their employees, that they can’t buy a plan from another state. How do you fix that?  

REP. ANDREWS: I agree. I think that it should be fixed. And in the bill that the House and Senate passed, there is an interstate market place. That’s what the exchange is, so that an insurer from any state can sell to a buyer in any state. We think that’s a good idea and should be in the bill.  

MS. MACCALLUM: All right. Let me talk to you about this. There’s an interesting quote today in a Politico story that came from a senior Senate Democratic aid, who said, “Reconciliation would be a tough lift here. Basically, that would mean to leave the bill as it is and try to, you know, ram it through with a majority vote. Reopening the House-Senate deal to make it more expensive, or jerk it further to the left would be playing with fire.”  

Now, the reason I bring this up is because two of the things that really caused problems for this plan where the icing on the cake were the Cornhusker deal in Nebraska, which made a lot of these deals smack of back-room deals that gave some states advantages that other states wouldn’t get. Also the union deal. The unions showed up at the White House and got exempt from paying the Cadillac tax. Are those things going to be gone?  

REP. ANDREWS: Yes. I think it’s very clear that the Nebraska deal should go. That wasn’t in the House bill. We sure as heck don’t want —  

(Cross talk.)  

MS. MACCALLUM: What about the union deal though?  

REP. ANDREWS: Well, the union deal isn’t quite what you said. The excise tax was changed for everybody. There was just a phase-in for collectively bargained plans. But I’ll say this to you. I don’t think there should be an excise tax at all. My own view is that the taxation of the benefits doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and I’d like to see that be the final outcome.  

MS. MACCALLUM: So you want no Cadillac tax program for anybody, across the board. Is that going happen?  

REP. ANDREWS: I hope so, that’s my personal view. I mean, I don’t speak for anybody but myself, but I think that’s where a majority of the House is.  

MS. MACCALLUM: That pays for a huge chunk of this bill, so then you’re back to the big problem. How do you pay for it?  

REP. ANDREWS: Well, I think you can reduce what the bill spends. I mean, I think one thing the public has said loud and clear is, spend less, and I think we’re looking for ways to be responsive to that.  

MS. MACCALLUM: All right. Congressman Rob Andrews from New Jersey. Thank you very much Congressman. Good to talk to you today.  

REP. ANDREWS: Thank you. It’s my pleasure. 

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