A Cadillac car (produced since 1902) has stood for excellence for many years. A “Cadillac” health plan is a plan that has little or no exclusions (such as for pre-existing conditions). The term “Cadillac” health plan was used in the 1960s, but was popularized during Congressional hearings in 1974.
“Cadillac” health care plans were much discussed during health care debates in 2009. A proposed “Cadillac tax” is a tax on expensive health insurance plans.
General Motors declared bankruptcy in 2009; a government bailout led to the nickname “Government Motors” for the owner of the Cadillac line. However, the long-established “Cadillac” health care nickname was still used in 2009.
Cadillac is a luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors Company. Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mainly in North America.
Founded in 1902 as the Cadillac Automobile Company, it was purchased in 1909 by General Motors and over the next thirty years established itself as America’s premier luxury car. Cadillac pioneered many accessories in automobiles, including full electrical systems, the clashless manual transmission, and the steel roof. The brand developed three engines, one of which (the V8) set the standard for the American automotive industry.
Slogans of old Cadillac Advertisements
“In a realm all its own ... Cadillac” (1959)
“A New Realm of Motoring Majesty! - The 1959 Cadillac”
“Cadillac - a new measure of automotive supremacy.” (1959)
“Cadillac ... the new measurement of greatness” (1959)
“Cadillac ... universal symbol of excellence” (1959)
“Cadillac ...World’s Best Synonym for Quality!” (1959)
What is gold plated Cadillac health insurance?
I’ve heard John McCain talk about his proposed $5,000 tax credit not covering those with the “gold plated Cadillac health insurance.” He mentioned it most recently during the third presidential debate. What exactly is this? My employer offers three types of insurance (the highest costing one allows me to pay less out of pocket and lowers my deductible and vice-versa). Is this the “gold plated” one, or what exactly is McCain talking about?
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A gold plated policy would have a higher premium, low deductible, low co-pays, little or no co-insurance, with few or no limitations on services such as mental health care.
31 March 1959, Lincoln (NE) Evening Journal, pg. 27, col. 7 classified ad:
Lincoln’s leading dept. store is opening a new health dept. An experienced capable woman is needed to introduce “THE CADILLAC OF THE HEALTH FIELD” to Lincoln. Rare opportunity for outstanding woman with previous sales experience in health machines or units. Guaranteed salary. Unlimited potential. Permanent. Call MISS LAWRENCE, ROOM 318, HOTEL CORNHUSKER.
17 October 1968, New Mexican (Santa Fe, New Mexico), pg. 18, col. 6 classified ad:
DON’T be satisfied with the second. Write the Cadillac of the health insurance field. Unexcelled policy benefits. Top commissions - vested renweals. Reply Dept. F, No. 301, 209 16th St., Denver, Colo. 80202.
3 September 1971, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “Warning Issued On Cost Spiral,” pg. 5, col. 3:
“This sort of thing must be brought under control. We’re on the verge of providing Cadillac health care for those on welfare while many of the rest of our needy receive only the meagerest health care,” he said.
(Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes—ed.)
Competition in the health services market: hearings before the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-third Congress, second session
By United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly.
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
That is whether as a society the provision of “Cadillac health care” for one person and “Volkswagen health care” for another person is acceptable.
16 November 1974, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, “Less expensive medical care for the community,” pg. 14, col. 4:
Until very recently, the kind of Cadillac health care Canadians enjoyed under medicare has been considered some kind of birthright, a part of modern times, the social or welfare state or the growing affluence of Canadians.
Humanitys in Medicine
By Paul F. Dwan
Bloomington, MN: Dwan
We are dealing with a national hope — some say a national consensus — with new planning needed to provide financing if we are to give cadillac health care to people who in some cases can’t even afford a bicycle.
3 March 1977, Lake Park (IA) News, pg. 1, col. 1:
General Motors reports that is Blue Cross-Blue Shield coverage for its workers now adds more to the price of an automobile than does the cost of the steel that goes into it. Americans are demanding and getting “Cadillac health programs,” a recent survey shows.
Marketplace From American Public Media
Friday, July 31, 2009
Demystifying the “Cadillac” health plan
“Cadillac” or “gold-plated” insurance programs have come under fire in the Capitol Hill debate about health care. But just what do the plans cover and how do they work? Joel Rose reports.
Wall Street Journal
SEPTEMBER 19, 2009
Tax on ‘Cadillac’ Plans Draws Flak
By JANET ADAMY and GREG HITT
Labor unions and some Democrats are pushing to scale back a proposal in the latest version of Senate health-overhaul legislation that would tax generous insurance plans.
The new tax is intended to target “Cadillac” plans offered to wealthy individuals. It would fall on plans valued at $8,000 or more for individuals, and at $21,000 or more for families. Unions say that would hit the plans of many of their members, who tend to have generous benefits. And while the tax is aimed at insurers, which oppose the levy, some large insurers have already said they plan to pass the cost on to consumers.
New York (NY) Times
A Tax on Cadillac Health Plans May Also Hit the Chevys
By REED ABELSON
Published: September 20, 2009
Although cast as a tax on gold-plated insurance policies for the well-heeled, it has prompted anxiety among the middle class.
The idea, proposed last Wednesday by Senator Max Baucus, is to help raise money for the nation’s health care overhaul by placing a new excise tax on the most expensive health insurance policies, like the ones offered to partners at Goldman Sachs and other affluent professionals.
The supposedly Cadillac insurance policies include ones that cover many of the nation’s firefighters and coal miners, older employees at small businesses — a whole gamut that runs from union shops to Main Street entrepreneurs.
New York (NY) Times
How a Tax Can Cut Health Costs
By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: September 29, 2009
The A.F.L.-C.I.O. and its member unions have served up an excellent example of this contradiction over the last few weeks. They have been fighting to defeat the so-called Cadillac tax — a tax on very generous, expensive health insurance plans. And they’ve been getting help from big business’s lobbyists, like the Chamber of Commerce, who tend to be hostile to any new tax. We’ll find out in coming days whether the proposal survives the Senate Finance Committee’s markup of its health bill.
The Cadillac tax has the potential to slow health costs significantly. But like every other idea to slow spending, it can also sound downright scary. Just think of the proposal to have the government pay for end-of-life counseling, which turned into a debate over “death panels.”
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (2) Comments • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 • Permalink