Oregonian: It’s time to have “the talk” with … union members

posted at 3:21 pm on December 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Before Thanksgiving, Organizing for America urged ObamaCare advocates to have “the talk” with family members over the holiday dinner table.  “The talk” was supposed to urge activists to push their relatives into the ObamaCare exchanges over the weekend, which were, er, not working for much of that time. Today, the editorial board of The Oregonian urges school boards to start having “the talk” with teachers and the state to do so with other public-employee union members, but it’s a much different kind of talk than OFA wants them to hear:

Oregon school boards that don’t start adapting to the new federal rules now – and talking with employees and the public about the trade-offs – could be exposing their districts and students to new cuts and instability.

The Affordable Care Act, aka. Obamacare, requires employers with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance to employees who work a certain number of hours. The first phase of this law, now underway, requires employers and insurers to offer health plans that meet minimum standards. The next phase will involve penalizing employers whose health plans exceed maximum standards.

That penalty is called the “Cadillac tax,” an excise tax on annual insurance benefits that exceed $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. It will go into effect in 2018. Public employees, who tend to have better health plans than private-sector employees, are most likely to be affected.

The looming Cadillac tax and other mandates explain why the subject of federal health care reform can make Oregon school board members look like they’ve recently tasted a bad egg. First, they may need to adapt to the new coverage requirements for part-time staff, ideally without making cuts to the classroom. Next, they get to talk with teachers about trimming their health benefits, which may soon be stamped with a Too Generous label and slapped with a hefty penalty by the federal government.

Remember President Obama’s now-legendary promise that if you like your health plan, you can keep it? Another wave of people in Oregon will soon be learning the limits of that promise.

Don’t forget that as of last week, the number of people enrolled in Oregon’s state ObamaCare exchange was exactly zero. In fact, that’s still the number, because Oregon’s web portal won’t accept enrollments until the middle of this month, at least.  This is a lot of disaster for no progress at all.

So what will “the talk” communicate to these PEU members?  Districts will have to switch to plans with higher deductibles and premiums, as well as augment them with HSAs and other measures to slow down spending on health-care services.  This will come as a shock to many of the rank-and-file members who saw their union dues get used to promote ObamaCare and boost the fortunes of Democrats who insisted on pushing it despite widespread opposition.  Perhaps that’s a shock that is long since past due.

The editorial board at The Oregonian concludes with this statement:

Embracing the popular parts of Obamacare was easy. This is the hard part.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Obamacare is a disaster!

TheAudacityofNOPE on December 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

OT – thank the turkey in chief for this decline.

It’s as obama wanted it, to diminish the USA.

Putin at least loves his country.

Schadenfreude on December 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Obama’s message to the country:

Stop hanging out in the doctors office.

Under my plan, medical costs will necessarily skyrocket. We’re gonna bankrupt the insurance companies.

BobMbx on December 2, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Oregon is navy blue and full of Obamabots. Let all the poisons that lurk in the Oregon mud hatch out.

neyney on December 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Do what Obama said for the “Old” people to do and that is “Take a pill”. I wonder who will pay the “Cadillac Tax” for the unions in all of the states? They have been so pampered for so long that any sacrifice will seem draconian to them.

inspectorudy on December 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Don’t worry – when all the group plans at workplaces that are not unionized are dropped, the Cadillac plan tax will go away (probably administratively).

Steve Eggleston on December 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM

“The Socialist’s came for my neighbor’s wallet and I did nothing.”

Carnac on December 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM

This is the hard part

No it isn’t. The hard part will be when employers start dumping their people onto the exchanges and they find out how much they get screwed. That will be the hard part.

Johnnyreb on December 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Perhaps that’s a shock that is long since past due.

But voting straight “D” tickets is so much easier.

antipc on December 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Obama will just waive the Cadillac tax for them.

stenwin77 on December 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Organizing for America should publish proof that all of its members have signed up for ObamaCare before it starts pushing it on others.

INC on December 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

When Oregon school boards have “the talk” with teachers they can just point them to this classic screenshot for the rejuvenated ZeroCare website.

MTF on December 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

The Democrats are probably kicking themselves now for not putting in a 100 percent Cadillac health care plan exemption for all public and private-sector union members when ObamaCare was passed back in 2009-10. Out of fairness, of course.

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I think the only end result of any of this will be for public employees across the country to turn on Obama and rush headlong into the arms of Hillary Clinton, who in reality would if she were President be as defiantly and openly left wing as Obama is, without the ability to fake being caring and likeable.

Imo, no significant number of unionized public employees will ever forsake the Democratic Party and vote Republican on a national scale, due to the fact that PEUs and the Democrats are Siamese twins who know better than most that if one were ever torn from the other, both would die.

It ought to be the stated goal of every Republican voter and candidate in the nation to do away with unionized public employment. Give them a fair and honest labor agreement of course, but certainly no more generous than the private sector receives, and no more collective bargaining units anywhere in public service, local, state or federal.

Sacramento on December 2, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Dear Oregon teachers:

If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, if you pay a hefty tax to provide birth control to Georgetown law students.

Thank you for your union dues that made it all possible, and we encourage you to increase your contributions to provide affordable health care for all Americans, because Obama cares.

– President Barack Obama

Steve Z on December 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Simple solution, have King Barack the Magnificent grand school teachers an “exemption” from “the law of the land”.

It worked for Dickless Trumpka.

GarandFan on December 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

For the vast majority of Oregonians the web site works.

jukin3 on December 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

The editorial board at The Oregonian concludes with this statement:

Embracing the popular parts of Obamacare was easy. This is the hard part.

Isn’t Oregon the state that despite their zeal for Obamacare have yet to enable one parasite to fly on his own wings?

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

If Obamacare defines a “fulltime” employee as one that spends 30 or more hours per week at their job, how do they define teachers that take 2 months off and still considered employed fulltime?

Most teachers are in the classroom, what? 219 days a year?

EJHill on December 2, 2013 at 4:51 PM

F em all along with the catholic church and all the other pricks that supported this disaster brought upon our country.

ouldbollix on December 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Not all union members are reflexive democrat voters. Conservatives are Ill served when using general rhetoric about unions. The leadership is beyond help, but not drawing the distinction between the leadership and the rank and file is myopic at best.

Murphy9 on December 2, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Don’t know what’s going to happen to my insurance. I work for a university, but I’m a state non-union employee. Who knows what’s in store for us. I have good insurance but I wouldn’t call it a “Cadillac” plan.

scalleywag on December 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM

F em all along with the catholic church and all the other pricks that supported this disaster brought upon our country.

ouldbollix on December 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Not sure where you get your information, but the Catholic church is trying to block application of O-Care to them because it forces them to pay for abortion. Prior to the passage of the act, the only “Catholic” support I saw was a bus full of traveling nuns who were followed by the adoring media, but who were also admonished by their Bishop to knock it off. Oh, and I think the bus was paid for by big D bankrollers. It was all a media farce. But I repeat myself.

2ndMAW68 on December 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Will America ever be able to heal it’s “back end”, after being viciously sodomized by Obama for 8 years?

ardenenoch on December 2, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Here’s the deal… the “Cadillac tax” is levied on the employer, not the employees. Towns, counties and states will raise taxes so they can pay the cadillac tax back to the Feds.

darkpixel on December 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM

DAGNABIT, WHERE DID I PUT THE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN???
IT WAS RIGHT HERE A SECOND AGO!!!

Marcola on December 2, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Um, the easy part was embracing a fantasy of what was in the bill. It bears no resemblance to the actual content of the bill. Next time, read it before you support it.

talkingpoints on December 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM

F em all along with the catholic church and all the other pricks that supported this disaster brought upon our country.

ouldbollix on December 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

How nice. More Catholic bashing by the Know-Nothings.

Myron Falwell on December 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

The next phase will involve penalizing employers whose health plans exceed maximum standards.

So to the proggies, there is such a thing as having health insurance that’s “too good”? Ask your annoying Democratic friends to explain this.

That penalty is called the “Cadillac tax,” an excise tax on annual insurance benefits that exceed $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. It will go into effect in 2018. Public employees, who tend to have better health plans than private-sector employees, are most likely to be affected.

That is, greedy-union public employees. Not all government employees at the state, county, and city levels have been forced into greedy-unions.

slickwillie2001 on December 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

…Oregon is navy blue and full of Obamabots. Let all the poisons that lurk in the Oregon mud hatch out.
neyney on December 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM…
.
Oregon has a population center near the Washington border that controls the vote through numbers, as well as the southern end of the Willamette Valley, where old hippies go to die. It is by no means homogeneous. I was surprised to learn it was considered the 7th “most free state” in the union.

trl on December 3, 2013 at 5:12 AM

” Public employees, who tend to have better health plans than private-sector employees, are most likely to be affected.”

Does anyone seriously believe that this administration will actually enforce the Cadillac plan penalty against any public employees much less those represented by NEA and AFT?

Nomas on December 3, 2013 at 7:25 AM