Big Labor Regrets Obamacare
Forbes reports that the labor unions which were so key to passing Obamacare – as they helped get Democrats elected to Congress in 2006 and 2008 and fought tooth and nail to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010 – are now “waking up to the fact the Obamacare is highly disruptive to the health benefits of their members.”
Last Thursday, representatives of three of the nation’s largest unions fired off a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, warning that Obamacare would “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”
The letter was penned by James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Joseph Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; and Donald “D.” Taylor, president of UNITE-HERE, a union representing hotel, airport, food service, gaming, and textile workers.
“When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act,” they begin, “you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat…We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.”
These unions excoriate Congress for making false promises and complain about the unintended consequences:
The union leaders are concerned that Obamacare’s employer mandate incentivizes smaller companies to shift their workers to part-time status, because employers are not required to provide health coverage to part-time workers. “We have a problem,” they write, and “you need to fix it.”
Sadly, the Heritage Foundation and other conservatives predicted this fallout years ago. The consequences aren’t so much “unintended” as they are “unaffordable.” The Left had every intention of taking over the healthcare industry – the problem is that centralized control doesn’t work as well as the free market and freedom.
We noted that unions and Big Labor encouraged deals behind closed doors and thought they’d benefit – only it looks like that came back to bite them:
And just what deals were Big Labor, the leftist majorities in Congress and the Obama administration making behind closed doors? How to pay for President Obama’s likely$1 trillion health care plan without raising taxes on one of the President’s most loyal constituencies: labor unions. Specifically, Big Labor reportedly has struck a deal with health care negotiators to exempt union members from the 40% excise tax on high-priced health insurance premiums. By some estimates, the tax would hit one in four union members. Now Big Labor will get all of the big government health care spending they always wanted, but they will not have to pay for it.
We warned that Obamacare would not mean better health care, just more centralized government control. We have continued to sound the alarm. We warned that Obamacare would drive good doctors to retire before they intended. We’ve continued to show how that’s happening. We warned that Obamacare is bad for young people. That’s still a problem today and will continue to cause harm. We warned that American businesses would be harmed, especially medium and small businesses. Not only this, but our religious liberty has been assaulted by this law.
What America needs is a patient-centered, market-based health care system, not Obamacare.
Now, we’re proposing the only viable solution to this disastrous law: total defunding of Obamacare. Will Congress continue to ignore the reality that Obamacare is and – by its very nature – always has been an utter failure?