Certain Big Labor groups suddenly not so partial to ObamaCare

posted at 11:31 am on January 31, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Once upon a time, labor unions were all about supporting President Obama’s health-care overhaul efforts. They stood alongside him while he touted all of the phantasmogorical benefits, savings, and efficiencies that would ostensibly, effortlessly occur when ObamaCare was finally implemented, and then many of these same groups enthusiastically backed his reelection bid — helping to ensure that ObamaCare would be safe from repeal.

But now that ObamaCare is utterly failing to stop the rise of health-care costs, premium prices are still rising, and the whole thing is turning into and expensive, bureaucratic-regulatory nightmare? Not so much.

The WSJ reports that various Big Labor groups are balking at rising health-care and insurance costs, and they’re pressuring the Obama administration to stretch the federal subsidy program meant to apply to low-income workers without employer coverage in order to help them comply with the individual mandate and purchase health insurance (emphasis mine):

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.

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. …

Who wants to put money on the Obama administration finding a way to make the unions happy here? Administration officials are currently declining to comment on whether union-employer plans might be able to qualify for the subsidies, which means that they probably haven’t quite decided themselves yet — but with unions bringing the pressure, I’m sure they’re heartily considering it. Mighty convenient, these regulations “still be written” and all. And who will bear the cost? The taxpayer, that’s who — giving in to the unions’ demands will raise the ACA’s price tag as well as provide a perk-seeking opening to nonunions employers in the same situation.

If the Obama administration doesn’t give in, labor leaders are cautioning that unionized employers may just decide to drop coverage. Unions are thinking that it might make cost-effective sense to ditch employer coverage in favor of just letting their members seek private coverage subsidized by the government — but the ‘great health care’ is kind of one of the big selling points of joining a union.

The Sheet Metal Workers International Association helped push for passage of the health law. Mr. Beall said he still believes everyone should have health insurance, but worries the law is undermining the union’s ability to offer coverage.

“If we’re not offering our members insurance and pension, why would you want to be union?” he asked.

Nutshell version: Big Labor worked tirelessly to help President Obama get his ACA passed, and then helped him get reelected, and they’re finally figuring out that they’re stuck with his notoriously ill-thought-out plan. The heart bleeds.

Exit quotation: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”


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Racists

forest on January 31, 2013 at 11:36 AM

“If you like MY plan, you can keep it. If you don’t like MY plan, you can keep it”.

- Obama

ghostwalker1 on January 31, 2013 at 11:36 AM

You dipsh!ts raised money for it and voted for it, so live with it.

Sit and spin, union goons.

JimLennon on January 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Hang it on their heads loudly every day…maybe their minions will revolt.

Don L on January 31, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The only ones who didn’t see this coming are the unions and other thugs.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. More regulations are coming, and God knows what they’ll impose. Things can only get worse, and I enjoy seeing liberals having to actually pay into the price for once.

Cry, babies, cry!

Liam on January 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Chickens >>>>> roost

NeoDawg on January 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Nothing a few waivers cannot fix.

Archivarix on January 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Union Fail

workingclass artist on January 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Trust the label

Roy Rogers on January 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Unions are thinking that it might make cost-effective sense to ditch employer coverage in favor of just letting their members seek private coverage subsidized by the government — but the ‘great health care’ is kind of one of the big selling points of joining a union.

If you want to keep your current healthcare plan, you can.

Heh.

unclesmrgol on January 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Conservative campaign ad: “What has your union done for you lately?”

Liam on January 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM

“What difference does it make?”

HRC

Weight of Glory on January 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Obamacare is not just stopping the rise in costs, it is causing them to skyrocket.

Blake on January 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Many of us have been saying for a while that labor leaders no longer have the best interests of their members in mind. Until the day the membership finally notices that they will suffer at the hands of political operatives rather than improving their prospects.

ojfltx on January 31, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Academia and now Unions!!! Oh where will it end./s

CoffeeLover on January 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I guess they should have read the bill BEFORE it was passed. But, then “What difference does it make”!!!!!!

SC.Charlie on January 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM

They don’t know history, do they?

In 1933, the Nazis disbanded the Weimar unions and replaced them with the new and improved union, the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), which was comprised of 2 primary entities, the National Socialist Factory Organization and the National Socialist Trade and Industry Organization. The labor contracts that were Weimar contracts were now DAF-honored contracts. The Nazi’s funded the DAF’s coffers with the Weimar unions’ stockpile of wealth (the existing unions were part of that inflation problem). One of the new unions’ most popular programs was the Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude, KdF)) program, which developed the KdF-wagen, that later became the Volkswagen, or People’s Car.

Nice stash o’ money, you got their unions. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.

If you like your union, you can… Hmmmm.

Fallon on January 31, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Durnit. Forgot the link. Here.

Fallon on January 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I will be shocked when Sandra Fluck has second thoughts.

Electrongod on January 31, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I don’t get this. Employees in greedy unions are specifically exempted from Obamacare. Gold-plated healthcare insurance plans offered to greedy union employees are exempted from the fines for having coverage that is judged “too good”. Healthcare insurance offered to greedy union emplyees is exempted from all the coverage mandates that the rest of us have to accept.

Why is this an issue?

slickwillie2001 on January 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

How about all those unions currently EXEMPT for the wonders of ObamaCare. Bet they can’t went for their exemptions to expire. Or will they?

GarandFan on January 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Academia and now Unions!!! Oh where will it end./s

CoffeeLover on January 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Single payer, that’s where this is heading. All part of the plan.

JPeterman on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The unions have been lying to their workers for years and just found out Obama lied to them for their support.Obama has the bus in idle for them.

docflash on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

“If we’re not offering our members insurance and pension, why would you want to be union?”

SUCK ON IT!!!!!

redguy on January 31, 2013 at 12:01 PM

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.

Since when do union leaders care about unionized workers being less competitive? They’re always trying to shove unions down the throats of employers, who constantly tell them that unionized workers are less competitive!

Steve Z on January 31, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Own it suckers

cmsinaz on January 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Gee, I really feel bad for these guys.

No, I don’t. Bwahahahahaha.
Wait until they see what the coming economy does to their unemployment and membership figures. Bwahahahahaha.

trigon on January 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Obamacare is not just stopping the rise in costs, it is causing them to skyrocket.

Blake on January 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

What makes everyone think this is unintentional? Remember how they consoled the single-payer crowd at the time? They said that taking America to single payer will not be a one step process. Prepare yourself for step two….Clearly the private healthcare industry has failed and the government must administer national healthcare!

NickelAndDime on January 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Academia and now Unions!!! Oh where will it end./s

CoffeeLover on January 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Single payer, that’s where this is heading. All part of the plan.

JPeterman on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

And prell tell – where will these wondrous doctors and health professionals come from once the entire health care system is nationalized? I mean the NHS in England is so great!

I think all the US doctors are going to buy a country somewhere and call it The United Doctors State.
The UDS – come for a hip replacement, come for a lifeline.

redguy on January 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I don’t get this. Employees in greedy unions are specifically exempted from Obamacare. Gold-plated healthcare insurance plans offered to greedy union employees are exempted from the fines for having coverage that is judged “too good”. Healthcare insurance offered to greedy union emplyees is exempted from all the coverage mandates that the rest of us have to accept.

Why is this an issue?

slickwillie2001 on January 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Because the insurance companies are jacking the premiums on those gold-plated plans.

Bitter Clinger on January 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

I think all the US doctors are going to buy a country somewhere and call it The United Doctors State.
The UDS – come for a hip replacement, come for a lifeline.

redguy on January 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

After The Divorce, we may call that country… Texas.

trigon on January 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Ruh oh.

“It is time for labor to come to the table with an honest proposal that recognizes the state’s serious fiscal condition and puts government employees on par with those in the private sector relative to a benefits package.” ~ Michael Madigan, House Speaker and Democratic party chairman of Illinois

Fallon on January 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Oh Thank You another serving of sweet succulent SCHADENFREUDE this just doesn’t get any better. To the union morons my condolences, just let me say Bwhahahahahahaha !!

stormridercx4 on January 31, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Reap >>>sow>>>suffer…

Fools.

hillsoftx on January 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I think all the US doctors are going to buy a country somewhere and call it The United Doctors State.
The UDS – come for a hip replacement, come for a lifeline.

redguy on January 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Not necessary. There are a handful of island countries in the Carribean that will become cash-only healthcare resorts. They already have the infrastructure required, and they will welcome the business.

slickwillie2001 on January 31, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Fallon on January 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I mentioned on a thread yesterday that the City of Houston no longer considers the health care obligations of pensioners a liability after this year because of ObamaCare. Poof! 55-60% of unfunded retiree benefits wiped off the books!

PEUs are fixin’ to find out some bad news…

DanMan on January 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Look for the Union label. When you find it, you’ll also find greed, corruption, and selfishness.

BobMbx on January 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

It will interesting to watch how Obama’s relationship with the unions proceeds now that he doesn’t need their money for reelection.

tommyboy on January 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I would guess that since the powers that wanna be suggested passing the PPACA and then find out what was in it, the unions (like the rest of us) are finding out what was in it and now that reality is sinking in and staring at them they don’t like what they find.

It was easy to believe that the PPACA would reduce health insurance premiums because the unions didn’t take a real serious, factual look at what was being promised and accepted at face value that a superficial understanding of what was involved in the health care and health insurance industry could be “easily” adjusted at no cost to their members.

Of course, the obvious next step is to further cronyism by seeking exemptions or extentions or something to dodge the oncoming problem.

Russ808 on January 31, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Let it burn.

Good Lt on January 31, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I sense a lack of intelligent life.

yhxqqsn on January 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The Machinist Union here in the NW has a clause that if/when the Govt begins an health insurance (single payer) then we are all automatically transferred over to it. We have pretty good insurance now . . .but i wonder if it was a tradeoff between the Union and Feds . . .incrementalism . .. we may be exempt now . . .

countmein on January 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Where’s bayam?

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2013 at 2:09 PM

“If we’re not offering our members insurance and pension, why would you want to be union?” he asked.

Future headline: Right to work laws “unexpectedly” gain in popularity among rank and file union members.

CJ on January 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Single payer, that’s where this is heading. All part of the plan.

JPeterman on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

You got that right. The States that opted out of the exchanges will end up being the test tubes for the next iteration toward a single uniform plan for all.

Annar on January 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Where’s bayam?

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Maybe today’s a bank holiday in Canada.

slickwillie2001 on January 31, 2013 at 3:37 PM

You got that right. The States that opted out of the exchanges will end up being the test tubes for the next iteration toward a single uniform plan for all.

Annar on January 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Neat thing is, after the collapse of the currency, the single payers will be you and me andeveryone else.
III/0317

dirtengineer on January 31, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I received this email from my plan administrator today. There are all kinds of fees and taxes tacked onto the policies. Here is a summary:

A summary of taxes and fees
assessed by the Affordable Care Act
Jan. 31, 2013

One of the biggest questions asked about health reform is “how are we going to pay for all of this?” Unfortunately, the answer is taxes.
Under the Affordable Care Act, five new taxes and fees will be added to the purchase of health insurance. The rules, timing and amounts for each of these vary so we’re providing a summary table with explanation for your convenience.
First, let’s run down the purpose of each of the taxes and fees:
• Annual fee on health insurance carriers — This annual fee will be assessed on all fully funded health plans based on premium. (Note: Final regulations have not been released on this fee.)
• Transitional Reinsurance Program — Fees collected from all commercial plans (fully and self funded) sold both on and off the exchange and in both the group and the individual markets. This will be used to pay for high-cost claimants insured in the individual market throughout the country. The program is temporary and runs from 2014 through 2016.
• Risk Adjustment Admin fee — A fee used to develop a risk adjustment methodology that will compensate certain plans with membership that is less healthy than average by assessing plans with membership that is healthier than average. This fee is assessed on all individual and small group policies.
• Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee — This fee will fund the PCORI, which conducts comparative effectiveness research. The fee will also be assessed on all fully-insured and self-funded plans including health reimbursement arrangements. The fee will be from 2012 through 2019. Self-funded employer groups are responsible for paying this assessment and filing an annual excise tax return (Form 720) with the IRS.
• Exchange user fee — Fee that will be applied to all plans purchased from the exchange both individual and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

Based on their table of calculated fees, the price per month goes up between $11 and $27 per month per member just on these added on fees, and between $5 and $18 for individual plans. There were even smaller amounts tacked onto medicare advantage, medigap and medicaid monthly premiums.

Obamacare, it was supposed to save families $2500 a year, remember?

Biggest lie of the century.

karenhasfreedom on January 31, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Summarizing:

PPACA is caca

Angineer on January 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM

“If we’re not offering our members insurance and pension, why would you want to be union?” he asked.

Ha Ha. Obama got elected to help the unions, and he might just be the death of them.

lea on January 31, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Certain Big Labor groups suddenly not so partial to ObamaCare

…”What difference does it make”?
…can’t fix stupid!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Unions should just “take a pain-pill”

virgo on February 1, 2013 at 3:03 AM

Did you all see the part where the IRS, producing examples on how to calculate your OwebamaCare penalty, are estimating that the cheapest plan for a family of 4 will be a mere $20,000 a year?

With the medium income somewhere around $50,000 – that’s gonna take a BITE.

katablog.com on February 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Dear Union Leaders,

Welcome to Obamacare, you socialist scum.

Hope you choke on it… Too bad there won’t be any doctors around to administer the Heimlich maneuver while your turning blue.

Thanks to you, unions helped destroy the medical profession – raillroaded by a 2000+ page bill no one read before it was passed into law.

Chronic pain? Go f-yourself.

Keep smoking, drinking, and eating like $hit. Don’t wear a seatbelt while driving. Plan to start paying out-of-pocket.

Sincerely,

Your friendly neighborhood physician.

Danny on February 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM