Unions And Obamacare

There have been a lot of problems with Obamacare that have recently come to light–increased veterinarian bills, more part-time workers, not being able to keep your current health insurance, higher health insurance premiums, etc, and the Republicans have put repealing Obamacare into their latest budget proposal. However, the one thing that may actually cause a problem for Obamacare is the lack of support from unions as they realize the negative impact it will have on them and their members.

The March 25th Weekly Standard contains an article by Mark Hemingway that reports on some of the criticism of Obamacare coming from union leaders.

The article reports:

“I heard [Obama] say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ ” John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, representing 260,000 union workers, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.” Besides Wilhelm, some of the nation’s largest union bosses have taken to publicly criticizing the Affordable Care Act.

In actuality, current figures estimate that approximately 7 million Americans will lose their current health care policies by 2022.because of Obamacare. When the law was passed, the unions, because they are such a powerful political force, were supposed to be exempt from much of Obamacare. They are now finding out that those exemptions may have an expiration date.

The article points out:

The Obama administration has thus far issued waivers from Obama-care’s onerous requirements to unions representing 543,812 workers. By contrast, the administration has issued waivers for only 69,813 nonunion workers. While these waivers are a significant benefit, they accrue to a small fraction of the nation’s 14 million union workers. Further, many of the waivers have been granted on an annual basis, and no waiver has been granted for longer than two-and-a-half years. Eventually even union health plans are going to have to comply with Obama-care regulations.

The article also reports that the tax Obamacare places on what the law refers to as Cadillac health plans may begin to affect even average plans–another unforeseen problem.

The article concludes:

Beyond the specifics, what union leaders are really saying is that they have no confidence Obama-care will live up to its central promise​—​that the government can provide millions of uninsured Americans with health care coverage that both is affordable and meets their needs.

Surely organized labor must realize that Obama-care has only begun to be implemented. If the Democrats’ most ardent constituency and most prolific fundraisers are already having second thoughts about Obama-care​—​fearful that besides being expensive and unworkable, the law will make unions less attractive to workers and undermine collective bargaining​—​the law may be less secure than its apologists assume.

Obamacare is bad law and needs to be repealed. It will be interesting to see what happens as the politically powerful special interest groups in the Democrat Party begin to realize this.

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