Big Labor: ObamaCare is making income inequality worse, you know
posted at 7:01 pm on March 8, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
A bunch of labor unions’ massive retrenchment from directly supporting the passage of ObamaCare to publicly taking the legislation to the woodshed is well documented by now, but yet another big union just came out swinging against the law by levying one of President Obama’s favorite intellectually bankrupt themes against him: Income inequality, of course. Via the Washington Examiner:
A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.
“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”
Based on government and private reports, polling and statements from administration officials, the report, to be sent to pro-union members in Congress, charges that low-wage workers are taking the hit under Obamacare, while wealthy insurance companies fatten up on government subsidies. …
“Believe me; I enter this entire debate about the consequences of the ACA with a deep reluctance,” he wrote. “Unite Here was the first union to endorse then-Senator Obama. We support the addition of health care to millions of Americans. Yet facts are facts, and Obamacare will cost our members the equivalent of a significant pay cut to keep their hard-won benefits.”
Burn — especially since the Obama administration has been trying to argue all along the ObamaCare could only possibly have positive effects on employment all across the board, and the fact that labor unions are some of the biggest campaign donors around can hardly have Democrats feeling any better about their relationship with the president’s crowning legislative achievement going into the midterm elections.
Of course, the Obama administration did manage to throw Big Labor a bone with some much-lobbied-for special treatment in the form of an exemption from ObamaCare’s reinsurance fee. The Obama administration codified that into their latest tranche of regulations released last week, although Labor still doesn’t think the exemption goes nearly far enough in meeting their demands in solving the problems they helped to create for themselves when they overwhelmingly supported the law in the first place. Woops.
The slew of regulations released by the Obama administration Wednesday to implement the federal health law included confirmation that some labor unions and businesses would get a break from the law’s so-called belly button tax.
Federal officials signaled in November they were planning to let some organizations that offer health insurance off paying a reinsurance fee on each person they cover, which goes into a fund to compensate insurance carriers that end up paying big medical bills now they can no longer charge riskier people more.
The fee was $63 for 2014, and applied to spouses and dependents as well as policyholders, which is where it earned the nickname “bellybutton tax.” Large employers and organized labor had campaigned against the fee because they said they were being asked to subsidize commercial insurance companies and could not afford it.
For 2015, the fee has been set at $44 — but it won’t apply to any plan that is both “self-insured” and “self-administered,” the Wednesday rules say. Some union plans could fit that definition, though not all.