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View Diary: AFL-CIO adopts resolution criticizing part of Obamacare (107 comments)

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  •  Tax on so-called "cadillac plans" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willa Rogers, notrouble, splashoil

    Which a lot of unions received in lieu of pay raises.  They call it "bending the cost curve."  I call it another example of the race to the bottom.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:43:25 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  There are tons of quality health plans (0+ / 0-)

      that are not "cadillac Plans" I personally think the unions have ben duped into excepting these way over valued plans in lieu of pay raises.

      Congress has great health plans and they are not even considered cadillac plans.

      Right man, right job and right time

      by Ianb007 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:48:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Union Plans not eligible for Exchange Subsidies. (0+ / 0-)

        You don't understand.  Non-profit Taft-Hartley health care plans are excluded from the "exchanges" where the private rentier insurance plans are subsidized.  IOW union members are taxed to support this sham but excluded from the subsidies given out.  Obama lied to us when He said we could keep our health plans and doctors.  This will not end well.

        •  IBEW statement (0+ / 0-)


          For more than 65 years, multiemployer plans have provided affordable, quality coverage for American workers. Found in nearly every industry, the plans allow small businesses to team up with other employers to pool risk and reduce costs in order to provide high-quality health care for workers.

          But despite President Obama’s promise during the health care debate that Americans could keep their current health care plan, the law would end up forcing millions out of multiemployer plans because small businesses are exempted from the tax on employees that do not provide health benefits under the law.

          “The IBEW is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act because the goal of making sure every American has access to quality and affordable health coverage has been a legislative priority for the IBEW since our founding,” says Hill. “But our members and allies employers have worked hard for the healthcare they have, and Obama must move now to guarantee that his signature law will not cost them their coverage.”  

          The problem is that the ACA’s definition of a small business – one that employs fewer than 50 employees – exempts large parts of the American economy from the health care mandate. For example, approximately 90 percent of construction contractors employ less than 50 workers, which gives low-road companies in construction and other industries an incentive to not provide their employees’ health care, putting additional pressure on employers that do.

          Workers who are not covered are eligible for a federal subsidy to purchase their own health care – an option not available to employees covered by multiemployer plans.

          “Businesses that did the right thing all along will be punished while employers who helped contribute to the health care crisis will be rewarded,” says IBEW President Edwin D. Hill. “It goes against the whole spirit of the legislation to begin with.”

          The IBEW are calling on the Obama administration to make regulatory changes so workers covered by multiemployer plans are eligible for federal subsidies – just like workers covered by for-profit plans.  

          “It is a question of fairness,” says Hill. “Multiemployer plans are genuine health care success stories and they deserve the same federal support private insurance companies get.”

          Video says it all...
        •  You miss the point why the Unions are wrong (7+ / 0-)

          For incomes above 200 percent of poverty ($25,000), the subsidy is actually pretty small.  If anything, it replaces the pre-tax treatment people lose when they get policies in the exchanges.  Your Taft Hartley plan is paid with pre-tax dollars.  People buying subsidized coverage through the exchange are using after tax dollars.

          The subsidy is based on the premium of the second lowest cost silver plan in a state.  For a 35 year old making 35k a year, there may not even be a subsidy.  It only kicks in at a higher level once you get above 45 to 50 year old and/or your income drops below 25k a year.

          Guess what--Taft Hartley plans already get that favorable tax treatment.

          By the way your argument that IOW union members are taxed to support this sham but excluded from the subsidies is so self serving.  So are the 45% of the population that gets employer provided coverage.  It is the same tax rate that they pay to subsidize the exchange.

          Do you realize the tax is 3.5% of total plan order to make sure that if someone loses their job or employer goes bankrupt, they can get coverage.

          Stop looking at your own wallet and look at the moving parts.

          •  Multi Employer Trusts Cover Many Rich and Poor (1+ / 0-)
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            For an employee working steady for one employer the impact seems minimal.  But that worker has to compete with non-union firms who will send their workers to these "exchanges" for subsidized coverage.  Start the race to the bottom now that Barrack has blown the whistle.
            Now consider the older worker who has become  Xmas help bouncing from one employer to another with no work and overall low income.  With O'care that person will get the 55+ collateral loan called Medicaid.  Just a running tab which must be paid back at death.  O'care is designed to destroy what we have struggled for years to build: a non profit plan which is portable from one job to the next.
            This comes from those Dartmouth assholes who kept single payer from the table.  O'care is a pos.

          •  The Workers Pay in "After Tax" Dollars. (0+ / 0-)

            When unable to work enough hours to keep covered.  You are not getting it.  COBRA contributions and self pay are paid by the worker in the plan from their after tax earnings or savings.

            •  Guess what (4+ / 0-)

              When an employee of one of the companies that has employer provided coverage drops below fulltime---it is a COBRA event---they too have to pay for coverage with after tax dollars.

              No difference.

              •  Cobra is expensive, too. (0+ / 0-)
                •  COBRA is expensive (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree with you on that.  But then the answer is not to give only union employees special treatment but providing a mechanism that allows any full time employee who slips to part time the ability to access subsidized coverage at an "affordable" level.  

                  In theory, when someone drops to part time, they are no longer offered "affordable" coverage and should be eligible for subsidized exchange coverage (everything is calculated on a monthly basis).  The only problem is that there is no continuity of plan designs (ie deductibles/network/copays etc) when someone jumps from group coverage, individual coverage through the exchange, and then back to group coverage.

                  That is the problem.

        •  Union Plans are not on the exchange, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          because the exchanges are for people who don't have employer sponsored plans or small group plans from smaller employers.

          Right man, right job and right time

          by Ianb007 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 10:00:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Union Families (1+ / 0-)
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            Don't often have the job security and steady incomes you may imagine.  The multi employer trusts struggle to cover those unable to work enough hours to qualify during downsizing and slow times.  Older workers will be the first thrown under the bus when Lew's O'care starts up.  Many will end up with the collateral loans of Medicaid building as their fortunes churn them in and briefly out of the running tab.
            This POTUS lied to us when He said we could keep our plans.

            •  "You can keep your plan, period." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Treetrunk, wsexson

              Video feed

              The strongly worded resolution says the Affordable Care Act will drive up the costs of union-sponsored health plans to the point that workers and employers are forced to abandon them. Labor unions still support the law's overall goals of reducing health costs and bringing coverage to all Americans, the resolution says, but adds that the law is being implemented in a way that is "highly disruptive" to union health care plans.

              Some individual unions have complained about the law's impact for months. The resolution marks the first time the nation's largest labor federation has gone on record embracing that view. Unions were among the most enthusiastic backers of the law when it passed in 2010.

              A labor official told The Associated Press that White House officials had been calling labor leaders for days to urge them not to voice their concerns in the form of a resolution. The official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the conversations publicly and requested anonymity, said many union leaders insisted that they wanted to highlight their concerns.

              Asked about any efforts to discourage unions from passing the resolution, the White House said in a statement Wednesday night that officials "are in regular contact with a variety of stakeholders, including unions, as part of our efforts to ensure smooth implementation and to improve the law."

              The AFL-CIO, one of the president's major boosters, approved the resolution just as the administration began rolling out a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to encourage Americans to sign up for health care exchanges starting Oct. 1.

              Fool me once.
              Please indicate who provides your health insurance in your response to add some perspective.
              •  I am self employed and I have to buy my own. (1+ / 0-)
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                i have had to go without for the last few years and I will be getting a plan on the California exchange As Soon as Oct 1st rolls around.

                I undertand the unions concerns.  Instead of whining they ought to be figuring out ways to get more money out of the employers in lieu of health coverage where possible and get their members care on the exchanges to take advantage of the subsidies. They should also look into forming co-ops that can provide insurance on the exchanges.  The ACA has start up money available for this.  I believe a freelancers union in New York has already done this.  There ways for unions to move forward in this new paradigm.  They are just stuck in a pre ACA , 1960 world.

                Right man, right job and right time

                by Ianb007 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 11:12:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Taft-Hartley Trust Participant (0+ / 0-)

                  Since 1971.  My Plumbers and Steamfitters Union plan has covered my wife and children.  Our work is tough and wears you down which is why quality health care has always been a high priority in negotiations with the employer group.  But all of us recognize what we really need is single payer like my neighbors in Canada enjoy.
                  Obamacare is just about preserving the 30% deducting insurance rentiers and preserving the price gouging by Pharma and hospitals.
                  I am now paying for Medicare and the retiree group plan which continues the coverage I have had for all these years.  I am not fooled by the "exchanges" and know what the intention is with that.  O'care is just a very expensive detour from single payer.

                  •  Single payer is the best way to go. (0+ / 0-)

                    Whining is not the best strategy to get us there.  Obamacare is not a detour to single payer it's the first step.  From this first step there will be a state run single payer single payer within 5 years.

                    Obamacare is way better than the system that was in place before 2010.  Way better.  Yes there are still private for profit insurance companies in the game but there are also non profits and co-ops.

                    Right man, right job and right time

                    by Ianb007 on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 11:37:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My non-profit TH plan is not "in the game" (0+ / 0-)

                      Obama sold us out.

                    •  More on Obama's Betrayal of Union Families (0+ / 0-)


                      One of the most interesting aspects of this story is what happened behind the scenes. Some unions were agitating for the AFL-CIO to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of Obamacare. President Obama personally intervened to prevent that from happening. At the end of the week, once the AFL-CIO’s quadrennial convention was over, the Obama administration announced that it wouldn’t heed labor’s concerns. Politically speaking, the President won, and the unions lost. … [I]ncreasing calls for Obamacare’s repeal from Democrats’ staunchest allies … spooked the White House, on the eve of the AFL-CIO’s quadrennial convention in Los Angeles. … Wednesday was the last day of the AFL-CIO convention, and the President could evade a politically embarrassing debacle by simply stalling the rumored resolution. … The President’s team swung into action. “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,” he reported last week. “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.”**
                      This is how He rolls!
            •  The president did not lie when he said (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              contrariandy, Treetrunk, Faito

              you can keep your plans.  That's just asinine.

              Employers, have always had the ability to change the insurance they offer their workers.  NOTHING HAS CHANGED. It's been happening for a while now.  The fact that some employers will find loopholes and ways to save a buck is nothing new.

              Guess what, many non union families don't have the steady income and job security they would like.

              Right man, right job and right time

              by Ianb007 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 10:46:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

            that in the early 1900s, the AMA  favored  universal government-funded health care, if only briefly.  They were beaten down.

            At that time, the president of the AFL loudly and repeatedly denounced compulsory health insurance as an unnecessary paternalistic reform that would create a system of state supervision over people’s health. The unions apparently worried that a government-based insurance system would weaken unions by usurping their role in providing social benefits. Their central concern was maintaining union strength, which was understandable in a period before collective bargaining was legally sanctioned.

            Also, in the Red Scare, immediately after WWI, when the government attempted to root out the last vestiges of radicalism, opponents of compulsory health insurance associated it with Bolshevism and buried it in an avalanche of anti-Communist rhetoric. (Sounds familiar.)

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