The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) recently launched a campaign in support of Senator Obama for president — and an attack on Senator McCain’s health care plan.
The commercial features four firefighters. "Our job is to risk our lives to protect you, and your loved ones. We’re proud of that," one of the firefighters say. "Like you, we need our health care for our families," adds another firefighter.
The IAFF, based in Washington D.C., is a labor union representing approximately 292,000 full-time firefighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada. The commercial will air on local cable networks in New Hampshire, parts of North Carolina, Orlando, St. Louis, parts of Ohio and parts of Virginia.
"Lets fight McCain’s plan to tax our health care together," a firefighter says at the end of the commercial.
What these firefighters are talking about is McCain’s plan to tax
workers for employer-based health insurance. McCain is promising to
give each family $5,000 to pay for health care, but he wants to tax
worker contributions to health insurance as taxable income to workers.
Currently, roughly 160 million people in the U.S. rely on
employee-based health care – including fire fighters – and are not
taxed on contributions to their coverage. Workers are already having a
hard time keeping up with rising premium costs.
Employee health care premiums are rising four times faster than
workers’ earnings, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health
Research Educational Trust. The average annual premiums for
employer-based health insurance are $12,680 per family and $4,704 per individual in 2008 – up five percent from last year.