Another union: Hey, whatever happened to “if we like our plans, we can keep them”?
posted at 4:41 pm on July 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
President Obama’s erstwhile promise assuring Americans that, “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” has since been unceremoniously exploded by the dawning realities of the health care overhaul, and the trend of labor unions — who once so enthusiastically stood alongside the president while he trumpeted the magical benefits the law would produce — now balking at the more limited options with which they and their members are shortly to be confronted, is moving full steam ahead.
Unions have been pressuring the Obama administration for months to stretch the federal subsidy program meant to apply to low-income workers whose employers don’t offer health insurance (although now, of course, applicants for subsidies will have the unchecked ability to just lie about those two requirements, for an indefinite period of time) to people in union-sponsored plans, and in April, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers became the first major union that supported the law to come out swinging in favor of its repeal because of the ways in which it jeopardizes the multi-employer health care plans that allow unions to offer insurance for members who work for different companies. The WFB reports:
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) released a white paper on Thursday warning that Obamacare, as the law is commonly known, “threatens to harm our members by dismantling multiemployer health plans.”
The union also took out a full-page ad in Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call calling on the president to “keep your promise” by ensuring that, in the president’s words, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” …
According to the union’s white paper, “the current multiemployer plan system provides affordable, high-quality health care coverage to millions of American workers, retirees, and families.”
New fees in the law, regulations on minimum-benefit requirements, and “the lack of multiemployer-specific administrative guidance” are threatening those insurance plans, IBEW claims.
“Because it does not recognize the unique nature of multiemployer plans, the Affordable Care Act contains provisions that could undermine this American success story and reduce the number of working families covered and lower the quality of their care,” the Roll Call ad warns.
Ouch. That’s the same tune that the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union was singing back in May, too, which is altogether remarkably different from the one it was singing just a few short years ago. But heck, yet one more aspect of the entire sixth of the American economy ObamaCare is attempting to remake in its own image that Democrats neglected to consider? Join the club.