White House to Big Labor: Can you guys not pass a resolution shaming ObamaCare, please? Update: Resolution, approved
posted at 8:01 pm on September 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
While a handful of individual unions have already come out publicly with strong criticisms of ObamaCare and the unfortunate ways in which the law pretty much wrecks their multi-employer health insurance and hence dissolves one of the largest attractions to even being in a union, among other reasons, the AFL-CIO has declined to get too outright with their ACA-related complaints yet. They’ve maintained that they’re faithful that this was merely an unintended ‘oversight’ by the bills authors and that the White House will do them a solid and find a fix for them.
Unions have gotten increasingly frustrated, however, as the administration drags their feet on helping out Big Labor but seems to have plenty of time to cater to other interest groups. In what is clearly an application of a little nudge-nudge pressure on the White House, the AFL-CIO has been batting around the idea of formalizing their ObamaCare criticism with a resolution at their big annual convention going on this week — and the White House would really rather they didn’t, apparently. The White House certainly seems to be doing rather a lot of lobbying these days, via The Hill:
White House officials have been calling union leaders about a resolution critical of ObamaCare that is set to pass on Wednesday at the AFL-CIO convention.
Union leaders have been tight-lipped about the calls coming from Washington, but at least one labor official said he understands that the Obama administration has been watching the resolution’s progress and expressing a desire that it not move forward.
Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said the White House would rather not have the AFL-CIO pass a resolution that lays out several complaints against the healthcare law.
“My understanding is [the calls are] to encourage that the resolution not to be brought to the floor and allow the administration to address the concerns with a commitment, an attempt to resolve some of the issues,” Schaitberger said. “My understanding is that they would have preferred that no resolution be brought to the floor.”
No, they certainly wouldn’t want that — ObamaCare can ill afford the bad press, especially not from the people who were once its staunch allies, in the few weeks until its rollout.
Again, I’d guess that the White House is working to appease Big Labor in some way, but that they’re taking the time to figure out how to do so without causing too much of a ruckus — if that’s even possible.
Update: Oh, they went there, alright:
The resolution passed by voice vote despite furious lobbying from White House officials calling on Big Labor leaders to table the resolution.
The resolution states: “The ACA should be administered in a manner that preserves the high-quality health coverage multi-employer plans have provided to union families for decades and, if this is not possible, we will demand the ACA be amended by Congress.”
The resolution put the nation’s largest organized labor federation, representing more than 12 million workers, on record saying that President Obama’s health care law is harming their existing health insurance.