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.http://thehill.com/...
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.Actually, it's a Republican bill. But that's another story.
The administration has tweaked the law to address complaints from other groups.
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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.”
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.