Heartache: Unions still really, really frustrated with ObamaCare

It’s no secret that major labor unions have been growing increasingly disillusioned with the health care overhaul for which they themselves relentlessly campaigned and helped to ensure passage. Their angst is due to a number of reasons but mainly the way in which the law affects the multi-employer health insurance plans that unions arrange for workers often within industries that have odd/inconsistent jobs and hours, known as Taft-Hartley plans, that cover approximately 20 million U.S. workers.

Unions are really gunning for ObamaCare’s subsidies — meant to apply to low-income people without employer-sponsored health care coverage — to apply to workers covered under current Taft-Hartley plans too, because without subsidies employers will have incentives to drop the plans and simply force workers onto the exchanges. Since the great benefits are one of the supposedly prime attractions of even joining a union, you can imagine Big Labor leaders’ distress.

Last week, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka let it be known that he was “working with the administration on ObamaCare” to find a solution for their oh-so-unexpected plight, ahem, but other leaders are still pretty frustrated with the lack of progress they’re seeing on getting concessions. Why has the administration catered to so many other special interest groups, but not us?, they wonder angrily:

“We are disappointed that the non-profit health plans offered by unions have not been given the same consideration as the Catholic Church, big business and Capitol Hill staffers,” Unite Here President D. Taylor told The Hill. …

“The Democrats have completely given the store away to the for-profit industry,” Taylor said. “Without any question, we have a scenario set up that ObamaCare has turned all the money over to the for-profit plans and the non-profit plans will fade away.”

“With open enrollment set to begin on October 1, time is of the essence, so we are working hard every day to find a solution to protect our members’ healthcare,” said Tim Schlittner, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). …

“The administration has found resolutions for a whole variety of issues and the fact that their biggest supporters will be put at the mercy of the for-profit insurance industry will leave a very bad, bad taste,” Taylor said. “You can’t blame the Republicans on this one. This is a Democratic bill through and through.”


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David Strom 6:41 PM on January 26, 2023