Unions Got What They Paid For

Image: Unions Got What They Paid For Obamacare support was evident at this 2009 AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Coney Island where Obama spoke. (Getty)

Friday, 19 Jul 2013 05:14 PM

By Bradley A. Blakeman

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How ironic is it that the unions who were instrumental in Obama becoming president of the United States in 2008 and keeping him in office in 2012 are now in 2013 up in arms over the effects of Obamacare on their members.

Today, unions are either demanding repeal of Obamacare or special carve outs and exemptions from the obligations we as regular Americans are saddled with.

In the Presidential Election of 2008 unions spent a reported $400 million to help Obama get elected. The keystone of the Obama agenda in 2008 was the promise of national healthcare and unions embraced and supported that effort with all their might.

If we take a look back at 2009 while Obamacare legislation efforts were at a fever pitch for passage — union members packed town hall meetings and invested tens of millions of dollars in media advertising pushing for passage of Obamacare.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was part of a group, largely funded by the pharmaceutical industry's lobby, that launched $12 million in television ads to support the president's healthcare push, and the coalition Americans for Stable Quality Care spent tens of millions of dollars in the fall of 2009.

Big Labor spent millions upon millions to help Obama jam Obamacare down the throats of the American people because they thought they would get a big payoff of $10 billion to supplement their failing pension plans.

The President of the AFL-CIO in 2009 stated that his union would jump into the healthcare fight to help out “working people.” John Sweeney went on to say that the healthcare fight is “the next big step in our march to turn around America.”

After Obamacare was passed thanks in large part to the help of organized labor it appears they followed the “Pelosi Rule” and read the bill.

And even after they read the bill many still did not grasp how bad it would be for their members — or ignored such details.

Unions supported Obama’s re-election effort in 2012 with nearly the same enthusiasm and support they showed in 2008.

It was reported that unions spent another $400 million on Obama/Biden re-election efforts.

Under the headline, “Political Spending by Unions Far Exceeds Direct Donations” The Wall Street Journal reported in July of 2012:

“Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, a finding that shines a light on an aspect of labor's political activity that has often been overlooked.”

Fast forward to 2013 and the very union bigs who fought so hard for Obamacare now hate it. This is what Townhall.com reported:

“The leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, have sent a scathing open letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, warning that unless changes are made, President Obama’s healthcare reform plan will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

If that’s not bad enough, the Affordable Care Act, if not modified, will “destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans,” the letter says.

Signed by Teamsters President Jampes P. Hoffa, UFCW President Joseph Hansen and UNITE-HERE President D. Taylor, the letter comes after companies have had to cut worker hours to avoid the 50 full-time employee threshold under Obamacare — after which a business must provide health insurance through government exchanges.

Union leaders are reminding Democrats — not Republicans — why they originally supported a healthcare overhaul and are expressing buyer’s remorse.

The very complaints now being made by unions are eerily similar to the same argument those opposed to Obamacare have made all along — when the bill was being advanced, when it was signed, and even today.

Union members should be up in arms because their leaders committed a fraud upon them in their support of a healthcare scheme that is detrimental to their interests.

They should be calling for the ouster of their leadership and demand answers. Their money has been squandered and their exposure to job losses and reduction or elimination of benefits is guaranteed under Obamacare.

The incompetence and blind loyalty of unions to the president has now come back to haunt them. They now seek to threaten and bully their way to a special exemption.

Obamacare simply will not work as advertised. It can’t. Obamacare does not work for unions, businesses or individuals.

To my union friends – you got what you paid for.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.




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