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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Union members with multi-employer, Taft-Hartley plans thrown under the bus

What, you think Obama -- and Wellpoint's Liz Fowler, who drafted ObamaCare for Max Baucus while his chief of staff -- would ever do anything to help the unions or collective bargaining? Kidding, right? The Hill:

Unions break ranks on ObamaCare
Many UFCW members have what are known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. According to the administration’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act, the law does not provide tax subsidies for the roughly 20 million people covered by the plans. Union officials argue that interpretation could force their members to change their insurance and accept more expensive and perhaps worse coverage in the state-run exchanges.

[UFCW President Joe Hansen], who is also the head of the Change to Win labor federation, told The Hill that his members often negotiate with their employers to receive better healthcare services instead of higher wages. Those bargaining gains could be wiped away because some employers won’t have the incentive to keep their workers’ multi-employer plans without tax subsidies.

“You can’t have the same quality healthcare that you had before, despite what the president said,” Hansen said. [He lied to you, Joe! He flat out lied to you!] “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.” ...

Earlier this month, the subject of how multi-employer health plans would be treated under ObamaCare was brought up at a private May 8 meeting between union leaders and the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.

Hansen wants the Obama administration to use its regulatory powers to address the matter; a legislative remedy is all but impossible in the divided 113th Congress.

“When [the Obama administration] started writing the rules and regulations, we just assumed that Taft-Hartley plans — that workers covered by those plans, especially low-wage workers — would be eligible for the subsidies and stay in their plans and they’re not,” Hansen said.

You campaigned for him, Joe! You "assumed" that would buy you something! And you thought that in 2012, too, Joe! Just... Yikes. Hey, call up that SEIU guy, what's his name, the public option guy... Yeah, Andy Stern! That's the ticket! Maybe he can help you....

NOTE I'm in sympathy with the membership, who's about to get screwed. At the same time, I'm not enchanted by the national leadership, given that SEIU took point on getting ObamaCare passed in the first place. Maybe getting thrown under the bus will amp the solidarity a bit.

UPDATE What the administration wants is maximum enrollment by healthy people. If they have to grab union members to achieve that goal, that's what they will do.

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NWLuna's picture
Submitted by NWLuna on


Yet another example of why you should Never Assume Anything.