More union grumbles about ObamaCare
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has been growing steadily more disenchanted with ObamaCare since the early days of 2013. Now they’re actually paying for an ad campaign against it. The ad can be seen in full here.
Like many ObamaCare critics, the IBEW quotes President Obama’s famous promise from July 2009 that we’d all be able to keep our health care plans if we liked them. I gather the tone of this quote is meant to be more rueful than sarcastic, because the union guys really like their plans, and they want Obama and Congress to write some more special exemptions to preserve them:
For over 65 years, multi-employer plans have provided affordable, quality coverage to more than 26 million Americans and their families, exemplifying the best bipartisan ideas on health care coverage.
Because it does not recognize the unique nature of multi-employer plans, the Affordable Care Act contains provisions that could undermine this American success story and reduce the number of working families covered and lower the quality of their care.
The Obama administration and Congress must not allow this to happen.
Rest assured, they still think you should suffer through the train wreck of ObamaCare. They just want some special carve-outs to protect their plans. The Daily Caller quotes from the IBEW whitepaper and a statement from the union’s president:
“The ACA threatens the viability of multi-employer health plans in four ways: 1) the high employee threshold of the employer mandate 2) the re-insurance fee, 3) the definition of qualified health plans, and 4) the lack of multi-employer specific administrative guidance. We believe it may be impossible to reverse the damage done to these plans if these issues are not resolved. The IBEW cannot afford to sit on the sidelines at the ACA threatens to harm our members by dismantling multi-employer plans,” the IBEW explains in a statement released Thursday.
The union estimates Obamacare could negatively affect the multi-employer health plans of some 26 million Americans. According to IBEW president Edwin D. Hill, however, the union remains a supporter of Obamacare’s mission — but the administration must make concessions for these plans.
“[Our] members and allied employers have worked hard for the healthcare they have, and President Obama must move now to guarantee that his signature law will not cost them their coverage,” Hill said in a statement.
Other unions have been expressing discontent with ObamaCare as well, although only the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers has thus far issued a call for full repeal or “complete reform” of the Affordable Care Act.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union complained about the threat to multi-employer plans several months ago. For those of you still foolish enough to believe Obama’s assurances that getting dumped into the public exchanges will be a wonderful experience, that’s exactly what the unions are terrified of, as noted in a May article at The Hill:
Many UFCW members have what are known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. According to the administration’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act, the law does not provide tax subsidies for the roughly 20 million people covered by the plans. Union officials argue that interpretation could force their members to change their insurance and accept more expensive and perhaps worse coverage in the state-run exchanges.
Hansen, who is also the head of the Change to Win labor federation, told The Hill that his members often negotiate with their employers to receive better healthcare services instead of higher wages. Those bargaining gains could be wiped away because some employers won’t have the incentive to keep their workers’ multi-employer plans without tax subsidies.
“You can’t have the same quality healthcare that you had before, despite what the president said,” Hansen said. “Now what’s going to happen is everybody is going to have to go to private for-profit insurance companies. We just don’t think that’s right. … We just want to keep what we already have and what we bought at tremendous cost.”
That’s what everybody wants, and full ObamaCare repeal is the only way for everybody to get it. The American people should have no tolerance for writing even more special waivers, subsidies, and exemptions into this hideously complicated, critically flawed program.