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Unions Demand A Subsidy Under Obama-Care

From the Wall Street Journal:

Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed

By JANET ADAMY and MELANIE TROTTMAN | January 30, 2013

Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Are they looking at their W-2s? Did they think the ‘waivers’ Obama gave them during the campaign were going to continue past the elections? Are they that dumb naive?

Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

The hell you say! And never mind that the unions pushed these very items as selling points for Obama-Care.

To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans. Contacted for this article, Obama administration officials said the issue is subject to regulations still being written.

And don’t worry for a minute. The fix is in. It was always the plan for Obama to give the unions this sweetheart deal. After all, they vote the right way.

In fact, this ‘subsidy’ has probably long since been written and Obama is just waiting for some late Friday evening before a holiday weekend to sneak it out.

Some 20 million Americans are covered by the health-care plans at issue in labor’s push for subsidies.

It’s not a ‘subsidy’ when the Democrats do it.

The plans are jointly managed by unions and employers and used mostly by small companies. They are popular in industries such as construction or trucking or hotels, where workers’ hours fluctuate. By contrast, unionized workers at big employers such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. GT -0.72% tend to have a more traditional insurance arrangement run through only one employer.

Top officers at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and other large labor groups plan to keep pressing the Obama administration to expand the federal subsidies to these jointly run plans, warning that unionized employers may otherwise drop coverage…

Just like every other employer. Just as we predicted. And which has always been the ultimate goal of Obama-Care. But the unions can’t do that for one simple reason:

But dropping insurance altogether would undermine a central point of joining a union, labor leaders say…

In other words, the unions would love to throw everyone out of their employer provided coverage and make them have to go on Obama-Care. But then they would lose the only selling point for being in a union: their lavish health care benefits.

So the US taxpayer will have to subsidize the unions health insurance to keep the unions happy. (And does anyone really have the slightest doubt that he will after what we’ve seen him do for the UAW?)

In reality, this union ‘subsidy’ has probably been written for a long time, and Obama is just waiting for some late Friday evening before a holiday weekend to sneak it out.

John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers at places including hotels, casinos and airports, recalls standing next to Barack Obama at a rally in Nevada when he was a 2008 presidential candidate.

"I heard him say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ " Mr. Wilhelm recalled. Mr. Wilhelm said he expects the administration will craft a solution so that employer health-care plans won’t be hurt. "If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law." …

Obama will keep his word — but only to his union foot soldiers. The rest of us are out of luck.

For the Obama administration, holding firm against union demands for subsidies risks alienating a key ally. Giving unions a break, however, would not only increase the cost of the law but likely open the door to nonunion employers in a similar situation who would demand the same perk…

Don’t make us laugh. Obama has never had any problem doing carve outs for his ‘peeps.’ Besides, what does he care about the cost?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 31st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Unions Demand A Subsidy Under Obama-Care”

  1. bousquem25 says:

    The dems are going to screw everyone else over just to give the unions and democratic voting block free healthcare. Except when that “free” care shows up people are not going to be happy about it. More and more places are not going to take goverment insurance and I know from my experience in working pharmacies that union plans are not always a good thing. A number of plans excluded our chain from their coverage networks and even then the insurance would only work at certain pharmacies in the area. Only maybe 3 CVS pharmacies and a few Rite Aids were on the list when the area of the state I was in had probably 15 or 20 pharmacies. What was horrible for some people was that the nearest pharmacy for them was a good 40 minute drive because it was in a very rural/mountainous area.

  2. canary says:

    Palestines has rule; those held in Israel prison get salary’s for life.


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