Tags: union | Obamacare | mandate | Democrat

Obamacare Alienating the President's Staunchest Supporters

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Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 07:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

When you start tallying up all the people who despise Obamacare, the line gets pretty long.

But one group having a big problem with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might surprise you: union members, who have historically been the staunchest supporters of President Obama and the Democrats.

When the ACA was first proposed, the administration knew it had to woo trade unions if it was ever to gain approval. Unions publicly rallied for its passage. But behind closed doors, unions demanded that Obama grant special waivers for their members so they didn't need to comply with Obamacare's onerous mandates.

The unions were comfortable with these promises . . . at least at first. But slowly they began to question Obama's commitment to tamping down their members' healthcare costs.

As early as 2013, union leaders were asking Obama to make special concessions for their lower-paid members. They requested that their lower-paid members be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

The audacity was overwhelming. If I had gone to the feds to ask that this ploy be used for my employees, they would have laughed in my face.

The Obama administration balked and the ACA honeymoon with unions was showing signs of fatigue.

At the October 2013 annual meeting of the AFL-CIO, a resolution calling for closing a loophole in the ACA that encourages employers to drop union-bargained health plans in favor of cheaper coverage through new health insurance exchanges was passed.

Some union leaders have accused Obama of betraying them and threatened less-than-enthusiastic support for Democratic candidates.

Now there is growing unrest among trade unions, as ACA costs are projected to rise by more than 12 percent to cover new mandates, which will hit the pocketbook of union members.

There are already calls for strikes by union housekeepers, waiters and others in Las Vegas; transit authority workers in Philadelphia; and flight attendants of Alaska Airlines.

A report in The Wall Street Journal projects that Philadelphia's transit system will be hit with a $120 million spike in healthcare costs to cover the new ACA mandates.

It's gotten so bad that Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, actually suggested that Obama was lying when he promised workers that if they liked their current insurance, they could keep it.

When Obama loses his union support, he's running out of allies. It's far easier these days to find people who want to get rid of Obamacare than those who support it.

Trade unions spend the majority of their time trying to elect candidates that support pet union causes. Historically, these have been Democrats.

But let me throw out an audacious idea. We should thank the Democrats for supporting Obamacare. Their embrace of the ACA has the potential to push former Democrats — including union supporters — into the ranks of the Republican Party.

We now have a common cause that unites us: we both want to see Obamacare disappear.

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NealAsbury
When you start tallying up all the people who despise Obamacare, the line gets pretty long.
union, Obamacare, mandate, Democrat
516
2014-57-05
Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 07:57 AM
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