Unions Turn Against Obamacare Fearing Lost Coverage

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:51 AM

By Lisa Barron

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The White House is losing support for Obamacare from some leading labor unions that are concerned their members could lose healthcare coverage once the program is fully implemented.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said it is worried that its members will actually lose healthcare coverage they have now once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented early next year, reports The Hill.

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Joe Hansen, president of the UFCW, a 1.3 million-member group that endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, wrote in an editorial published in The Hill that Obama's claim at the 2009 AFL-CIO convention that union members could keep their current insurance under the new law “is simply not true for millions of workers.”

“You can’t have the same quality health care that you had before, despite what the president said,” Hansen asserted, adding: “Now what’s going to happen is everybody is going to have to go to private for-profit insurance companies. We just don’t think that’s right. … We just want to keep what we already have and what we bought at tremendous cost.”

At issue is the fact that many UFCW members have multi-employer Taft-Hartley plans, and the law apparently does not provide tax subsidies for the approximately 20 million people covered by them.

Hansen said in The Hill editorial that his members normally negotiate with their employers to receive better healthcare services in lieu of higher wages, and that the bargaining chip could be eliminated because some employers won’t have the incentive to keep their workers’ multi-employer plans without tax subsidies.

Hansen’s concerns are shared by other labor groups. Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers issued a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”

Unite Here, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International brotherhood of Teamsters are also calling for changes, according to The Hill.

Alert: Obama Movie Exposes Frightening Agenda. Get the DVD Here.

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