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As has happened too often with the administration, labor has had to stand at the back of the line.  Now it is expressing its frustration at the administration's failure to make administrative changes to the ACA that threaten union members' health plans.

Most unions backed ObamaCare’s passage, but labor argues provisions in the law could cut employee hours, unfairly tax their plans and force workers off their union health plans into the law’s potentially more costly insurance exchanges.

The central issue is union members, who are among the roughly 20 million people who use nonprofit multi-employer “Taft-Hartley” health plans.

Unions want the administration to change ObamaCare so that those plans are treated as qualified health plans that can earn tax subsidies. Under the administration's interpretation of the law, the multi-employer plans are not eligible for the subsidies.

Without those subsidies, employers may have the incentive to drop the plans and force workers onto the insurance exchanges.

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 nonprofit plans will fade away.”

The administration says it is committed to making the healthcare law work for those on Taft-Hartley plans, but has not offered to make any changes to the law so far that would meet union concerns.

The administration has tweaked the law to address complaints from other groups.

. . . .

Unite Here was the first national union to endorse Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary, but Taylor warned there could be a backlash if the administration doesn’t meet their concerns.

If they lose their health coverage, his members “will blame the people who passed that bill and did nothing to fix it,” he said.

“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.”

Actually, it's a Republican bill.  But that's another story.

Are you listening Democrats?  Maybe pretend it's the Chamber of Commerce or NFIB making the complaints.  Or maybe AHIP.

The potential for a policy and political debacle is there.  They had better wake up.

Originally posted to Paleo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

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

    by Paleo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:11:09 AM PDT

  •  Can the administration change the ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to accommodate the mulit-employer plans, without any help from Congress?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:17:21 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, but Republicans hate unions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so for the President to be seen chumming with unions is not (as they put it) "pragmatic".

    Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

    by Boogalord on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:18:51 AM PDT

    •  We'll see how "pragmatic" that turns out to be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if union members stay home in greater numbers during the mid-terms and the President has to face a Republican senate and house.

      The unforced errors of this administration boggle the mind.

      I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

      by tgrshark13 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, but if that happens (0+ / 0-)

        then the blame will fall on those darn progressive "purists" not coming out to bat for their team. NOT on the Dems who are obviously selling out every single populist aspect of the Dem platform.

        Remember 2010? That's pretty much exactly how it went. The Blue Dogs were murdered, and it was all our fault that people didn't come out and support the Democrats who were most blatant about being complete sellouts.

        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

        by Boogalord on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:23:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Many of these shortcomings were discussed.. (0+ / 0-) Dems before ACA was signed.  Many Kossacks wrote diaries that pointed this out.

    Labor nonetheless supported ACA.  I imagine Labor Leadership knew this was going to happen, but it needs cover, so it feigns ignorance.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:21:13 AM PDT

  •  It's not just unions. I have insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Dirtandiron

    through my former employer, I'm on disability. Because it's a group plan, I can't get insurance subsidies. In spite of the fact that it costs me 25% of my income.

    I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

    by second gen on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:22:46 AM PDT

  •  Hey, union memebers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man, tgrshark13

    where else you gonna go? Obama doesn't care about his base because his base is composed  of toothless, Milquetoast, whiny people who he is free to ignore at no political cost. Obama is done with you. Sorry.

  •  Those health plans are already heavily subsidized (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and business gained additional tax credits through the ACA. So yeah, this whole complaint is extremely dishonest.

  •  This is a no-brainer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tgrshark13, Dirtandiron

    These plans employ millions of union workers. The Taft-Hartley plans were not recognized as qualified plans, why? I have no idea.

    These are essentially multi-employer non-profit insurance co-ops which the workers apparently love and work well.

    Put them under the "qualified plan" umbrella and be done with it! What is the hold-up?

    My understanding is that if an employers plan is not deemed a "qualified plan" they don't get the standard tax deductions and are penalized. Why should the Taft-Hartley plan employers lose their already exisiting tax deductions and why should the workers lose insurance they like due to what I think can legitimately be called a bureaucratic bungle in the writing of the initial bill - Thanks Max Baucus and Liz Fowler!

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:08:35 AM PDT

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