Yet another union boss takes umbrage with ObamaCare

posted at 1:21 pm on May 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The number of labor unions now calling for the repeal of or changes to ObamaCare is starting to stack up as they progressively realize that in many cases they cannot, in fact, keep their same health care plans, as much as they may indeed like them — which is all rather interesting, seeing as how Big Labor was falling all over itself in support of getting the law passed back in 2010.

In an op-ed in The Hill today, the president of the 1.3-million member strong United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Joseph Hansen, complains that ObamaCare as-is is going to undermine the current setup of UFCW members’ health insurance, and asks that the White House provide a fix to protect the multi-employer plans:

For decades, unions have negotiated high quality, affordable health insurance through nonprofit Taft-Hartley plans — one of the few reliable private providers for lower income individuals. …

But as currently interpreted, the ACA would block these plans from the law’s benefits (such as the subsidy for lower-income individuals and families) while subjecting them to the law’s penalties (like the $63 per insured person to subsidize Big Insurance). This creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers currently on our plans and push them onto the exchanges where many will pay higher costs for poorer insurance with a more limited network of providers. In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid, where taxpayers must pick up the tab. …

The ACA offers a subsidy to lower-income individuals and families so they can afford to purchase this insurance. As many of our members fall into this category, we believe the subsidy can and should apply to nonprofit plans. All we want is equality — where our plans are treated the same as for-profit insurers. …

We don’t want a handout. Our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have. Let me repeat — our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have. We just want them to be treated fairly.

Huh. So far, the White House has been disinclined to acquiesce their request — though one might be able to summon a bit more sympathy for them if they hadn’t actively pushed for and applauded ObamaCare’s passage in the first place.

Labor unions’ growing chagrin with the vagaries of the Obama administration’s signature legislative achievement has lately been mirrored by many Democrats’ growing worries over the law’s implementation and initial stages, and the subsequent potential for some negative effects on their 2014 midterm prospects; given their union allies’ catching disgruntlement, it’s a fear that’s definitely justified.


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I’ll try to find the caring and concern. Trying… trying…

Oh good. Here comes the single tear.

kim roy on May 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I’ll try to find the caring and concern. Trying… trying…

Oh good. Here comes the single tear.

kim roy on May 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Sure it’s not from smoke or a speck of dust instead?

I, for one, want the unions and every liberal to suffer under Obamacare and/or its potentials until they scream in unison for repeal.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

It must suck to be a rank-and-file union member who has to pay for union management when all they do is work to worsen the rank-and-file’s situation in life.

blammm on May 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

He doesn’t want it overturned. He just wants changes so his people get what they want. The rest is somebody else’s problem.

Mark1971 on May 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

They had no problems with everyone else being forced into higher costs with poorer plans. So, it’s only fair that they reap what they sowed…

Blake on May 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Cry me a bloody river.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Playing my tiny fiddle.

Del Dolemonte on May 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Did Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. come out yet, and say
“we’re going to get these SOB”s” (meaning Obama)?

ToddPA on May 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I’ll try to find the caring and concern. Trying… trying…

Oh good. Here comes the single tear.

Only tears of laughter from me…..sucker!!

hawkeye54 on May 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Suckers!

rbj on May 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

one might be able to summon a bit more sympathy for them if they hadn’t actively pushed for and applauded ObamaCare’s passage in the first place.

Mr. Hansen: You fought for Obamacare. Suck it up you union thug. Explain to your members why their hours are being cut and why their health insurance sucks. Because you did this to them.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Now that they’ve read it with their lawyers, they know what’s in it.

beatcanvas on May 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I, for one, want the unions and every liberal to suffer under Obamacare and/or its potentials until they scream in unison for repeal.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Union membership rolls definitely are fertile hunting ground to find low-information voters (parasites for short). They troop to the polls and vote just like they are told by their union bosses. Might be nice to send them a wake up call.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I wonder if the unions are starting to panic now because they realize the optics of O continuing to give them preferential treatment (and other Dem allies/supporters/doners), while conservative groups are not given the same advantages, has sunk in.

Mayday on May 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Gee, I guess all you union thugs should have thought about that before you helped to get it PASSED in the first place. HMMMM?

Right now, I only have two words for all of your ilk. SUCK IT!

Leftist dumbsh!ts all.

Meople on May 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

The rank and file should fire this guy for not asking for an exemption last year, like most of the other unions and health care lobbyists did.

When added together, the healthcare waivers excuse about 4 million people, or about 3 percent of the population, from having to participate, HHS said.

However, what’s slightly unsettling is the fact that the majority of the waivers were handed out to labor unions.

fred5678 on May 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Karma is a beyutch. Heh.

Wethal on May 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Is it too late for all these fools to wake up to what they’ve done and stop it? I don’t know, but I’ll keep my late mother’s advice in mind: Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

blackgriffin on May 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Feel good story of the day.

docflash on May 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Rahm Emanuel has the Chicago unions in a tizzy because he’s dumping them into the exchanges. Heh, again.

Wethal on May 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

These union goons love obamacare as long as it doesn’t apply to them. As soon as they get their exemption they’ll be happy.

GardenGnome on May 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

“We don’t want a handout. Our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have. Let me repeat — our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have.”

Don’t we all you ignorant toad, don’t we all. But that’s what you get for believing the dogeater. Let me guess, you thought you’d be special. That HE cared about you. That it would be the OTHERS who paid for it. The term useful idiots was created for folks like you and yours Joseph Hansen.

HumpBot Salvation on May 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Now this union can say that, like John Kerry, they were only for it before they were against it. Unions should get out of ObamaCare last, right along with AARP and Congressional Democrats (and staff!). Let the guilty pay.

MTF on May 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

They’ll get an exemption in exchange for political support of the Democrats.

Good Lt on May 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

It must suck to be a rank-and-file union member who has to pay for union management when all they do is work to worsen the rank-and-file’s situation in life.

It sure is.

Bob's Kid on May 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Just give the unions an exception.
Problem solved!

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

These union goons love obamacare as long as it doesn’t apply to them. As soon as they get their exemption they’ll be happy.

Someday, they may find out that their exemption is worth as much as a promise from Barry.

hawkeye54 on May 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

exception exemption(better – as per GoodLte)

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I almost feel.

nobar on May 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Unions own it. Unions can suck it.

bloviator on May 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Sure it’s not from smoke or a speck of dust instead?

I, for one, want the unions and every liberal to suffer under Obamacare and/or its potentials until they scream in unison for repeal.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

It’s from laughter actually. ;)

I’m waiting to use “who did you vote for?”

In a just world, they would suffer the most. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

kim roy on May 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid, where taxpayers must pick up the tab. …

Well then, they’ll be facing the same situation as their non-union neighbors. And you want to do something about that? You don’t care who has to pay what so long as your membership gets what it wants. I’m pretty sure that’s asking for a handout.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I’m waiting to use “who did you vote for?”

kim roy on May 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

It’s always fun when a leftist realizes that this stuff applies to them too. And there are going to be an awful lot of angry commies. They thought Obamacare was going to use the Robin Hood financing plan without realizing that they were included among the rich.

And just think of how great it will be when all the illegals start sucking up benefits without paying into the system.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Good old Senator Tom Coburn (dinner buddy of Obama).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/05/21/tom-coburn-tornado-aid-must-be-offset/

Maybe Mr. Union Boss should contact Coburn’s office, and see if the Senator would support a waiver.

(918) 581-7651

PappyD61 on May 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

For you union members out there, rest easy knowing that–as I write–union leaders across the country are receiving assurances from key Democratic politicians and point men that the more onerous aspects of Obamacare legislation that will burden and break the hoi polloi won’t apply to you. You’re connected to the Obama Administration with ties stronger and more enduring than a mother’s love. An accommodation will be reached. That’s the Chicago Way.

troyriser_gopftw on May 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Gee Unions…Sucks to be you.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” – Orwell, 1984

God Bless Right To Work States!

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

It’s as if a Useful Idiot is beginning to realize he’s no longer useful, and might be tossed aside.

Mayday on May 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Libtard trolls notably absent so far.
Can’t wait to see brayam, verbalunatic, Hahhhvudpartisan, or HAL explain this problem away.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Happy birthday, suckers.

CurtZHP on May 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM

It’s as if a Useful Idiot is beginning to realize he’s no longer useful, and might be tossed aside.

Mayday on May 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Sí, se puede

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

My only comment is….you wanted it…you got it. I’ll bet the next time you will not pass it before you read it. Dummies!!!

logicman_1998 on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

OT: Michelle Malkin is tweeting pics of IRS protest around the country…

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Huh. Wonder who’s more upset with their man these days, the unions or the press?

Tell you what, I’ll try to hide some of my enjoyment and look concerned for all of you.

CJ on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Libtard trolls notably absent so far.
Can’t wait to see brayam, verbalunatic, Hahhhvudpartisan, or HAL explain this problem away.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

“They have lost all credibility,” is likely the standard answer.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Aa a union member I can understand the glee of some as they watch this slug try to squirm out of the swamp they help create. It galls me how the leadership of unions surrendered our most valuable benefit for a seat at this asshat of a Presidents’table. The membership of my union will be lining up to vote these morons out . We will also be looking at the books. Here comes the boom.

Thicklugdonkey on May 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

It’s as if a Useful Idiot is beginning to realize he’s no longer useful, and might be tossed aside.

Mayday on May 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

We can almost see the “hey – I might have gotten scammed” lightbulb just barely starting to brighten….

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Welcome to reality.

Please take a seat. Your wait time is six months to a year.

VibrioCocci on May 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM

If they really cared more about the members they CLAIM to represent, instead of the liberal ideology, they would urge Democrat Senators to pass the Republican House bill to repeal Obamacare.

ROFL! Who am I kidding? Unions always care more about liberal ideology than their members!

dominigan on May 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Huh. Wonder who’s more upset with their man these days, the unions or the press?

Tell you what, I’ll try to hide some of my enjoyment and look concerned for all of you.

CJ on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I hope they all get a good solid taste of “hey, that $10 million from the Nigerian prince hasn’t shown up in my bank account yet, in fact MY money seems to be missing….”.

It’s nice to find something to laugh about these days….

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

The unions can choke on ObamaCare.
They need to remember all of this, as the unions ask for their dues
and the democrats ask for more donations….

redguy on May 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Big Labor was falling all over itself in support of getting the law passed back in 2010.

As far as I’m concerned, they can now BEND OVER and actually ‘see what’s in it’!

GarandFan on May 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

Take it good and hard, buddy.

Mason on May 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Also, a lot of unions have financial ties to these insurance companies, so when the employees have to switch, the union loses their kickback or commission or whatever they call it. That is another reason they hate the WI laws, because districts switched health plans away from the union favored companies when they could work directly with their own employees. No matter that the employees got similar coverage for a similar price out of pocket, and the districts saved enough to keep teachers employed… It’s always about money. You can bet that’s the motivator here too, and the workers are a secondary concern.

Boudica on May 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

“progressively realize”
nice choice of words Erika!
But is it possible for progressives to realize their mistakes?

breffnian on May 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Also, a lot of unions have financial ties to these insurance companies, so when the employees have to switch, the union loses their kickback or commission or whatever they call it. That is another reason they hate the WI laws, because districts switched health plans away from the union favored companies when they could work directly with their own employees. No matter that the employees got similar coverage for a similar price out of pocket, and the districts saved enough to keep teachers employed… It’s always about money. You can bet that’s the motivator here too, and the workers are a secondary concern.

Boudica on May 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

The unions had their own insurance agency through which the districts were required to buy overpriced coverage.

Wethal on May 21, 2013 at 2:20 PM

That is another reason they hate the WI laws, because districts switched health plans away from the union favored companies when they could work directly with their own employees.
Boudica on May 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

As I understood the WI situation, the unions had actually set up their own insurance companies and wrote into the labor contract that the government had to use THAT company that the union essentially owned – at highly inflated rates.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Does the House lack constitutional authority to de-fund the entire program? Yes or no.

kunegetikos on May 21, 2013 at 2:21 PM

another group requesting a waiver after lobbying for its passage;

socialism is for the people, not the socialists

burserker on May 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM

“For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing has already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”

– pResident Obama

See, Mr. Hansen? Now what’s all this fuss about?

lynncgb on May 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

There’s a very simple solution to this and other problems Obama is facing: If they are liberals, give them waivers. If they are conservatives, don’t give them waivers. Keep doing that until there is no more opposition and we are a socialist country.

Actually, this method works surprisingly well.

Burke on May 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

OT: Michelle Malkin is tweeting pics of IRS protest around the country…

d1carter on May 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Pretty good crowd in Nashville.

CurtZHP on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Maybe it’s time for the GOP to infiltrate their members and let them see how the union leadership threw them under the bus to help a liberal President. Maybe it’s time to have another vote on union membership, telling people that they will keep more of their check and get rid of leadership that doesn’t care for its members.
As the liberals like to say, “it’s about the middle class and people having more money in their pockets.”

djaymick on May 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Aa a union member I can understand the glee of some as they watch this slug try to squirm out of the swamp they help create. It galls me how the leadership of unions surrendered our most valuable benefit for a seat at this asshat of a Presidents’table. The membership of my union will be lining up to vote these morons out . We will also be looking at the books. Here comes the boom.

Thicklugdonkey on May 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Amen

hamradio on May 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Getting the gorvernment they voted for…….good and hard. Heh.

iurockhead on May 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

The mistake the unions made in the first place was thinking the democrats were on their side.

The industrial north was BUILT by republicans and Whigs before them. Not by democrats. And when did democrats take control of northern industry states? And when did those states go into decline?

Coincidence? Democrats took control by lying to labor. They told them a fantasy story and labor bought it. They’ve been losing jobs ever since.

Karmashock on May 21, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Let me understand this. Union bosses now, all of a sudden, realize that their members’ (what an appropriate noun) hours will be cut and the end result of that is they will be forced into bad medical insurance plans.

Seems the bigger issue for unions is a huge hit their union dues will take with the cut hours, they really don’t give a crap about the minions’ insurance, union bosses will keep theirs at whatever cost to the minions.

January 1st can’t come soon enough…

riddick on May 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

ROFL! Who am I kidding? Unions always care more about liberal ideology than their members!

dominigan on May 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Of course, and that’s cuz they’re liberals.

“Liberals always care more about liberal ideology than the American People.”

The sickening thing is the number of people that believe the liberal ideology is “compassionate”.

kirkill on May 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Translation: We are as stupid as the Conservatives said we were, when we supported this thing.

Alabama Infidel on May 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The only people that should have to live under Obamacare are the politicians and their staffs who passed it and the unions that supported them.

trigon on May 21, 2013 at 4:26 PM

This was all about currying favor with the takers, plain and simple. No worker benefits from this, whether wealthy or poor, high-salary or low-salary.

blammm on May 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Let It Burn.
They could have voted against Obama in 2012 after he rammed this thing through, but they didn’t. They deserve what they get. Every bit of it.

txmomof6 on May 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

If they really cared more about the members they CLAIM to represent, instead of the liberal ideology, they would urge Democrat Senators to pass the Republican House bill to repeal Obamacare.

ROFL! Who am I kidding? Unions always care more about liberal ideology than their members!

dominigan on May 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Unions and their managment care about taking care of their membership because if they don’t, the members may decide that a change of regime is in order. Hence they will do whatever seems to promise to benefit their membership even if analysis says in the long run it would be detrimental — unions are like corporate CEOs who look to the next favorable financial report as their recurring goal.

While not to dispute that unions can be useful, the Progressives (aka Liberals) have favored labor cartels as personified as unions, because they thought it would be better than the unorganized “free” market and put forward laws to make that so. Hence unions would tend to favor Progressive/Liberal programs so long as the unions don’t see obvious and substantial negative consequences for their membership.

So I do not think it too surprising to see unions intially backing the PPACA because the proponents, Progressive/Liberals, assured them in several ways that it would not affect their interests. Given how the PPACA was arrived at, obviously, the unions would not know what was in it, but taking it on faith that they would not be affected or could be exempted or the requirements could be waived, they went along and supported it.

Now the real costs and consequences are beginning to manifest themselves and union management are seeing storm clouds gathering and approaching. Far from affecting only fatcat CEOs and rich guys, the side-effects can reach all the way down to the individual union member and the managment, seeing the portent of member discontent, are getting concerned (or nervous).

Russ808 on May 21, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Hey, it’s what you Union Members get when you leave these negotiation’s up to the leadership Hard-Hats. Assumed? Oh, that’s rich, LOL, LMAO…Bwahahaha

Tangerinesong on May 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM