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NYT Reports Unions’ "Misgivings" On Obama-Care

From the New York Times:

Unions’ Misgivings on Health Law Burst Into View

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and JONATHAN MARTIN | September 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES — … President Obama phoned the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. last month… [T]heir conversation… moved to what has become a contentious topic this summer: labor’s renewed anger over Mr. Obama’s health care law and decisions surrounding it, especially the postponement of an employer mandate to ensure coverage for workers and the potential effects of the coming health insurance exchanges on existing plans.

The unions are angry about the postponement of employer mandates because they know a lot of employers are going to jump at the chance of dropping coverage without having to pay any penalty.

But Obama wants as many people driven to the exchanges as possible. And the union members’ loss of their nice benefits are acceptable losses.

According to officials briefed on the call, the president voiced concern about labor’s criticisms, prompting the union federation’s leader, Richard Trumka, to promise that he would try to soften the harshly worded resolutions that several unions planned to push at this week’s A.F.L.-C.I.O. convention in Los Angeles.

Obama won’t even let his closest allies criticize him.

Despite overtures on both sides — with Mr. Obama agreeing on the call to sit down with some union leaders to address their concerns at the White House, and Mr. Trumka initially hoping to quash such a public rift between the president and his party’s traditional allies — labor leaders criticized the administration and Congress on Wednesday at their convention.

In fact, Obama was supposed to speak at their convention. But he chickened out, citing the Syrian crisis as his excuse.

While praising the overall legislation, the delegates overwhelmingly passed a sharply worded resolution that demanded changes to some of its regulations, although Mr. Trumka made sure to strip out some proposals that called for repealing the legislation.

Hilarious. The AFL-CIO wanted to call for the repeal of Obama-Care. But, instead, they were made to settle for just demanding a carve-out or their own taxpayer subsidies.

At the convention, though, several labor leaders spoke their minds.

“If the Affordable Care Act is not fixed and it destroys the health and welfare funds that we have fought for and stand for, then I believe it needs to be repealed,” said Terence M. O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “We don’t want it to be repealed. We want it to be fixed, fixed, fixed." …

In other words, the unions are threatening to come out for repealing Obama-Care if they don’t get their carve out and/or taxpayer subsidies.

The resolution asserts that the law, by offering tax credits to workers seeking insurance from for-profit and other companies in the exchanges, will place some responsible employers at a competitive disadvantage and destabilize the employment-based health care system.

In other words, the unions want taxpayer subsidies, too.

The administration and health officials have repeatedly tried to assure critics that the legislation will not encourage companies to dump workers from employer-based plans into newly created health insurance exchanges, even if the employer-based coverage stands out as more generous and therefore more expensive for companies and even municipalities…

And never mind that we have already seen it happening in many places.

“Our members are the exact type of people that Obamacare was supposed to take care of,” said D. Taylor, president of Unite Here, a union of hotel and restaurant workers that has about 200,000 members with Taft-Hartley plans, employer-provided coverage named after the 1947 labor law. “We were the first union to endorse Obama. We were big supporters of health care reform.”

Mr. Taylor cast doubt on the president’s assurances that those Americans who liked their health plans could keep them.

“Under the way the A.C.A. has been rolled out by the Treasury and I.R.S. regulations, it will make it completely impossible to live up to that,” he said. “We think this is an example of unintended consequences. And it’s completely disheartening that the biggest earlier supporter of the president hasn’t gotten the same listening and benefit of big business with the one-year delay in the $2,000 penalty.”

Labor’s dismay is not new, but union leaders had been restrained, waiting for their closed-door negotiations with the administration on this issue to bear fruit. That anger burst into the open this summer when the so-called employer mandate was postponed…

And the New York Times doesn’t like to see this kind of thing out in the open.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 12th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NYT Reports Unions’ "Misgivings" On Obama-Care”

  1. Noyzmakr says:

    Why isn’t someone from the GOP on a plane out talking to these numb skulls? It’s a chance to divide the democrat’s base and we don’t see many chances like this. Reince Peibus should be in negotiations with them for their support to repeal Ocare and we’ll get the XL Pipeline approved or any other of a million issues we can agree with them on in this failing economy. Most of the rank and file union members are not rabid leftisit. They are people who wanted good jobs, and the unions were the path they chose to get them. They can be turned and especially if they see their leadership working against their interests.

    This isn’t rocket surgery.

  2. yadayada says:

    “The administration and health officials have repeatedly tried to assure critics that the legislation will not encourage companies to dump workers from employer-based plans into newly created health insurance exchanges…”

    gotta love wordplay. “we’re not encouraging anyone to do this.”
    of course the “legislation will not encourage”. i’m sure there is no language in the legislation the specifically states that. thus our honorable, fearless leaders can say so without lying. fortunately reality says it loudly and clearly. sort of like when your sitting on the tracks and see an oncoming train. do you need written encouragement to move?

  3. Enthalpy says:

    Richard Trumka: Peel and eat it!


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