Perhaps the unions should learn the old, old adage, “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”
Unions were among the strongest supporters of ObamaCare, but it looks like buyer’s regret is setting in.
When President Barack Obama pushed his health care overhaul plan through Congress, he counted labor unions among his strongest supporters.
But some unions leaders have grown frustrated and angry about what they say are unexpected consequences of the new law — problems that they say could jeopardize the health benefits offered to millions of their members.
The issue could create a political headache next year for Democrats facing re-election if disgruntled union members believe the Obama administration and Congress aren’t working to fix the problem.
Of course they’re not working to fix the problem. They got the bill they wanted, and that they suckered you into supporting, sight unseen. Remember what then-Speaker Pelosi said when asked questions about the content of the bill?
Looks like their most staunch supporters don’t like what they’re finding out about the bill.
“It makes an untruth out of what the president said, that if you like your insurance, you could keep it,” said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.”
The problem lies in the unique multiemployer health plans that cover unionized workers in retail, construction, transportation and other industries with seasonal or temporary employment. Known as Taft-Hartley plans, they are jointly administered by unions and smaller employers that pool resources to offer more than 20 million workers and family members continuous coverage, even during times of unemployment.
The union plans were already more costly to run than traditional single-employer health plans. The Affordable Care Act has added to that cost — for the unions’ and other plans — by requiring health plans to cover dependents up to age 26, eliminate annual or lifetime coverage limits and extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
“We’re concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges,” said David Treanor, director of health care initiatives at the Operating Engineers union.
Workers seeking coverage in the state-based marketplaces, known as exchanges, can qualify for subsidies, determined by a sliding scale based on income. By contrast, the new law does not allow workers in the union plans to receive similar subsidies.
Of course, some of us were warning about the increased costs even before it was passed. Too bad the unions didn’t listen to us.
They’ve made their bed, now they get to lie in it.
(originally posted on my own little corner of the blogosphere)