FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Verizon’s Strikers Striking To Save Cadillac Health Plans From ObamaCare Realities
As of Thursday morning, there have been 202 incidents of sabotage since 45,000 Communications Workers of American (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) members went out on strike to preserve their Cadillac health plans.
Of course, that was Thursday morning and, since the strike has been going on for about 10 days, the number of incidents caused by
union unknown vandals will have likely increased, which makes the number cited in this Verizon-prepared video already outdated:
Now, granted, the unions would want the public to believe that they are
vandalizing fighting Verizon to preserve the middle class. The reality is, however, the unions are fighting a fight they themselves created and are now having to defend the very “Cadillac health plans” that were so controversial during the ObamaCare debate.
In fact, if it weren’t so pathetic that the unions are misleading both the public and their members on the root cause of the strike, one might actually find some cynical humor in the fact that the CWA & IBEW strike against Verizon is a strike of the unions’ (and Democrats’) own making—especially since unions are the ones that pushed so hard for ObamaCare to begin with and, as a result, wound up costing their employers even more than they were already paying for those Cadillac plans.
Since Verizon is already spending $4 billion per year covering 800,000 employees, retirees and their families, one might think the unions would have told their members that they may eventually have to give up the Cadillac in exchange for a Chevy. However, the unions didn’t—even though Verizon did more than a year ago.
In fact, as the National Review noted last year, Verizon was forewarning its employees in 2010 that the passage of ObamaCare would increase the company’s costs and possibly reduce benefits:
There are provisions included in the new law that reflect some, but not all, of Verizon’s priorities. The legislation requires all Americans to have health insurance and provide for assistance to low-income individuals to help them afford coverage. The legislation begins to set up a competitive marketplace to provide more options. However, due to the varying effective dates included in the legislation, we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short-term. These cost increases are primarily driven by two provisions.
The first is a provision that affects the Medicare Part D subsidy for prescription drug coverage. Because Verizon offers retiree prescription drug coverage today, the government provides a 28 percent subsidy to help offset the financial burden of offering that coverage. The subsidy was intended to help employers continue to offer prescription drug coverage for retirees so that these retirees would not have to use the Government Medicare Part D program. However, changes affecting the Part D subsidy will make it less valuable to employers, like Verizon, and as a result, may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.
Additionally, there is a provision that taxes high-value health plans expected to begin in 2018. Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the thresholds in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.
So, it appears that 45,000 strikers are striking over a monstrosity their own union bosses helped create. This makes it even more ironic when a union striker complains about the company’s notification that, while he’s on strike, he’s going to have to pick up the whole tab if he wants to continue his benefit coverage.
Just recd the kind letter from Verizon explaining how much my cobra payment will be if we are still on strike past 8/31. For medical, dental & vision for only myself & my son it would cost me $1245.33 per MONTH! That is more than my mortgage payment. Now I ask how many single parents out there could afford this increase? That is a drop in the bucket for our upper management who make more in a week than I make in a year but for me I can not afford it. And people wonder why we are on strike?
Sorry to break it to you Ms. Sullivan, but you now know what the rest of the middle class has known for years. While the vast majority of us in America have been paying a portion of our health care premiums for years, the Verizon strikers have paid nothing toward their premiums—despite the ever-increasing costs and despite the fact that their unions just got ObamaCare passed which will increase costs on all Americans.
* Of course, no one can say with certainty that the acts of sabotage and vandalism are occurring at the hands of unions strikers. However, there were only 46 incidents of deliberate damage to Verizon property in the six months before the strike. Of course, it could just a coincidence.
For ongoing coverage of the unions’ strike against Verizon, go here.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776