WSJ: ObamaCare implementation turning into a pretty big headache for Big Labor

posted at 8:41 pm on May 27, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

It wasn’t too long after they helped to ensure President Obama’s reelection that labor unions started to realize and subsequently express some buyer’s remorse on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for which they also personally lobbied. They belatedly cautioned that ObamaCare’s requirements would have some adverse effects on the specific setups of their union-sponsored, multi-employer insurance plans, and while the administration eventually threw them a small bone late last year by exempting a handful of unions from a temporary reinsurance fee (and instead raising the cost of that fee for other insurees), it wasn’t nearly enough to fix the fundamental problem threatening their plans.

Now that unions are getting into the hard work of renegotiating labor contracts with employers, the WSJ notes that potentially major disputes over which party has to pay for the onerous new costs associated with ObamaCare are popping up all over the country:

Unions and employers are tussling over who will pick up the tab for new mandates, such as coverage for dependent children to age 26, as well as future costs, such as a tax on premium health plans starting in 2018. The question is poised to become a significant point of tension as tens of thousands of labor contracts covering millions of workers expire in the next several years, with ACA-related cost increases ranging from 5% to 12.5% in current talks.

In Philadelphia, disagreement over how much workers should contribute to such health-plan cost increases has stalled talks between the region’s transit system and its main union representing 5,000 workers as they try to renegotiate a contract that expired in March. …

Labor experts on both sides say the law doesn’t take into account that health benefits have been negotiated by employers and unions over decades, and that rewriting plans to meet new requirements can affect wages and other labor terms.

“It’s been a challenge for even some of the stronger unions to maintain the quality health plans that they have offered over the years,” said Daniel Murphy, an attorney in New York who represents employers in labor talks.

Neither employers nor unions struggling with declining national membership are likely to fall any deeper in love with the law after these negotiations are over, especially since the excellent healthcare offerings have traditionally been one of the prime attractors in joining a union in the first place.


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Hoisted by their own petard. I’m fresh out of tears to shed…

Rix on May 27, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Sleep with dogs wake up with fleas

Franklin100 on May 27, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Let me just find a nice quiet place to cry.

Chuck Schick on May 27, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Golly gee… color me shocked!

DublOh7 on May 27, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Obama pooped on another group of supporters? Wow, am I surprised…

DublOh7 on May 27, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Nobody with a brain believed costs would be lower or care quality wouldn’t suffer.

Boo f’n hoo.

ROCnPhilly on May 27, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Har.

Philly on May 27, 2014 at 8:49 PM

My heart bleeds.

BKeyser on May 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Choke on it, you traitorous b*stards.

SouthernGent on May 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM

This is Progressive foreplay as they are ready to plunge it all in with Single Payer. BOHICA

Reuben Hick on May 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Waiting for Tlaloc to tell us how great the Obamacare that ate the unions is.

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 8:55 PM

“When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down.”

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight …

Not even the most deluded Commie-Fascist Statists (which, of course, includes most union thugs) believed that.

ShainS on May 27, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Bend over, grab your ankles, enjoy, you earned it….

hillsoftx on May 27, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Remember when.

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Should’ve found out what was in it BEFORE you fought so hard to pass it.

Oxymoron on May 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Blame the union bosses and leadership, not the rank and file.

swamp_yankee on May 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Suck it
B!tches

bazil9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Remember when.

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Remember when.

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

404 error

bazil9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Grrr…let’s try this: remember when.

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Come on on you effing trolls …tell me again how much it is saving me.

CW on May 27, 2014 at 9:04 PM

404 error

bazil9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Heh…I tried the full link and the blog ate my comment.
Then I tried bit.ly and got the 404/Heathcare.gov error…
I think the last attempt worked!

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Own it

No whining

cmsinaz on May 27, 2014 at 9:05 PM

bazil9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Heh…I tried the full link and the blog ate my comment.
Then I tried bit.ly and got the 404/Heathcare.gov error…
I think the last attempt worked!

22044 on May 27, 2014 at 9:04 PM

It worked. :)

Nice trip down memory lane.

bazil9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Blame the union bosses and leadership, not the rank and file.

swamp_yankee on May 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

The Rank and File provided the votes and volunteer work to help get Obama and other Democrats elected.

The Rank and File deserve quite a bit of blame for Obamacare.

wren on May 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I have a violin about 1 inch long to play for them. May it be the straw that breaks the union camel’s back.

JimK on May 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I got a free t-shirt from Obamacare.

Walter L. Newton on May 27, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Irreparable cost increases.

Bmore on May 27, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Oh…….Flawless.

Bmore on May 27, 2014 at 9:11 PM

“embrace the suck” —

CoffeeLover on May 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Heh! Ohhhhh, the irony.

avagreen on May 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

“When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down.”

If they’d remove their heads from the back side of their laps, they might have found out the truth.

avagreen on May 27, 2014 at 9:14 PM

That 40% cadillac plan tax for most union health benefits is going to prompt even quicker dissolution of union labor.

Murphy9 on May 27, 2014 at 9:15 PM

wren on May 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Blame, insults, and fingers in the face rarely wins votes.

Despite the delusions of some that this country is full of self-sufficient closet conservatives just waiting for real leadership, the truth is that we need to tap into some traditional Democratic voting blocks to survive. These were the guys Reagan won and he didn’t do it by insulting and blaming them.

swamp_yankee on May 27, 2014 at 9:16 PM

i think all this is a feature, not a bug in the overall plan.

poised to become a significant point of tension as tens of thousands of labor contracts covering millions of workers expire in the next several years,

i mean what labor activist, labor lawyer, labor leader won’t get thrills up the leg about this? This can be a great opportunity to expand you unionization movement by promising to negotiate a fair deal for all those non-union people who will lose b

i think the plan is to get people begging for single payer

r keller on May 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Time for Comrade O to dictate more exceptions for favored supporters hurt by his policies. All he needs is a pen, right?

Socialism for thee but not for me and mine is the Neo-Socialist way.

farsighted on May 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM

“We unions thought Obama’s shiite really was beluga caviar!”

/Schad

ShainS on May 27, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Unions learn the Dem way. They should have discussed with the Jewish and Minority (read AfricanAmericans) constituencies get screwed over time and again.

socalcon on May 27, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Labor experts on both sides say the law doesn’t take into account that health benefits have been negotiated by employers and unions over decades, and that rewriting plans to meet new requirements can affect wages and other labor terms.

Ooooh…these Special Snowflakes thought they wouldn’t get burned by would be exempt from 404care…

Awww…poor babies

Newtie and the Beauty on May 27, 2014 at 9:24 PM

“embrace the suck” —

CoffeeLover on May 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

I see what you did there… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on May 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

“When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down be paid for by someone else.”

Fixed it for them.

xNavigator on May 27, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on May 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I couldn’t resist LOL

CoffeeLover on May 27, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on May 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I couldn’t resist LOL

CoffeeLover on May 27, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I almost posted that, too ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on May 27, 2014 at 9:36 PM

“When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down be paid for by someone else.”

Fixed it for them.

xNavigator on May 27, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Exactly.

ShainS on May 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM

What happened to that savings of $2,500 a family thingie?

itsspideyman on May 27, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Now that unions are getting into the hard work of renegotiating labor contracts with employers, the WSJ notes that potentially major disputes over which party has to pay for the onerous new costs associated with ObamaCare are popping up all over the country

Who could have predicted that?

People who actually read and understood the bill, that’s who.

And how many Obamacare supporters did that? Probably none. Certainly not the Big Labor Big Wigs who were all in.

But not to worry. If Comrade O cannot change what needs changin’ by excercising his dictatorial powers, he’ll get some RINO’s to cover his ass and promote a “fix”. Because “fixing” Obamacare is probably the only thing the likes of McCain and Bush III will do.

farsighted on May 27, 2014 at 9:41 PM

F ‘em.

earlgrey on May 27, 2014 at 9:46 PM

We all know that unions have a multitude of flaws, but I never thought that inability to recognize their own self-interest was one of them. How did they screw this up so badly?

wbcoleman on May 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Schadenfreude. Enough said.

ojfltx on May 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM

“When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down.”

Only idiots believed that crap. The degenerate socialist architects of this disaster knew that was a lie, and so did anyone with common sense who took five minutes to consider just the broad outlines.

novaculus on May 27, 2014 at 9:54 PM

If you assume/believe that something is not going to affect you then being in favor of it is very easy. You have no stake in what is supposed to happen until you find that it will affect your interests then you want to back peddle away from it.

Unions thought the Democrats, their normal allies, wouldn’t possibly do something that would upset their negotiated health insurance so they were in favor of PPACA. Then, as the ramifications of the PPACA became apparent, they want waivers or exceptions or protections or to shift the burden they can see coming to others.

Russ808 on May 27, 2014 at 9:58 PM

We all know that unions have a multitude of flaws, but I never thought that inability to recognize their own self-interest was one of them. How did they screw this up so badly?

wbcoleman on May 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I never understood why the unions (certainly the bosses, but the rank and file elect them, right?), in general, are illegal alien amnesty supporters — which clearly hurts their existing members.

[Maybe they think all those new "citizens" will increase the money flowing in via dues ...]

ShainS on May 27, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Whats the line from animal house….you effed up, you trusted us. Clearly i think the unions feel that obama wasnt going to leave them hi and dry….but he did.

jaywemm on May 27, 2014 at 10:35 PM

So join Republicans and repeal it! Sorry. Too obvious.

NYCMike on May 27, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Unions can just STFU! and pay up. They wanted this POS legislation, now they can damned well sit down AND EAT IT!

GarandFan on May 27, 2014 at 11:50 PM

The collectivists will try their best to get taxpayers to pay for the “insurance” of the working poor in unions.

And guess who will ride in to help that happen.

Corporate America should take this opportunity to wreck these collectives which hold our nation back.

We all need to insist on breaking up public sector collectives.

ha_tspc on May 28, 2014 at 1:00 AM

Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.

jbspry on May 28, 2014 at 2:09 AM

I’m detecting a theme in the comments….

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2014 at 2:31 AM

What should worry it’s members is that your leaders really believed this to be true, that obamacare would lower prices. These are the people you rally need to be Mad at, How Dumb can you be??

oldandtired on May 28, 2014 at 5:02 AM

Let us play them a song on the world’s tiniest of violins.

Ukiah on May 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Sure Trumka is the face you picture when you think of unions, but Obamacare crushes teacher benefits like a giant asteroid from space.

Direct Hit on the PEUs. Good job!

perries on May 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

You bought it, you own it, jackholes.

Ward Cleaver on May 28, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Sweet, sweet, justice.

magicbeans on May 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

What? You mean those increases in coverage cost money? Who knew?

Hucklebuck on May 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM