Richard L.Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said Thursday that the Affordable Care Act has many attributes, but the law “wasn’t thought completely through” and he plans to meet with officials in the Obama administration to discuss how to improve it, reports the Washington Times.
The head of the country’s largest labor union said he would back a rewrite that would change Obamacare’s definition of a full-time workweek from 30 hours to the more traditional 40-hour week.
Many who have criticized the legislation single out the 30-hour cutoff as the main reason fast-food chains and other employers have reduced employees’ hours, a move made to keep them in part-time positions so penalties tied to the law’s employer mandate, which requires firms of 50 or more full-time workers to provide health coverage or pay fines, can be avoided.
“That is obviously something that no one intended,” Trumka said.
Trumka said his meeting with Obama administration officials would center on how the law treats union members’ multi-employer plans, but offered no specific solutions to the problem.
“Everything we’re talking about is kind of a moving target,” Trumka said.
Pushback from organized labor on Obamacare is music to the ears of many Republicans, as unions are considered a major ally for the Democratic Party.
Trumka also said taking a “public option” off the table when Congress was debating the Affordable Care Act of 2010 was a bad idea, as he believes a government-run standard would have kick-started competition in concentrated insurance markets dominated by one or two large insurers.
“That, to me, was a mistake,” Trumka said.
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