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Senior Advisor

Labor unions not happy with Obama care

They insisted it be passed to find out what was in it and even now the rules are still be written. They said it was good enough for the rest of us but now demand they receive special treatment to relieve them of the financial burden it will place on them. Part of what to pay for this bill was a tax on the "cadillac" plans many union members enjoy. Now it appears we will have to subsidies those plans. The budget deficit is about to explode.



Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration's health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Union leaders say many of the law's requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26.

To offset that, the nation's largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to 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.

In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans. Contacted for this article, Obama administration officials said the issue is subject to regulations still being written.



John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers at places including hotels, casinos and airports, recalls standing next to Barack Obama at a rally in Nevada when he was a 2008 presidential candidate.

"I heard him say, 'If you like your health plan, you can keep it,' " Mr. Wilhelm recalled. Mr. Wilhelm said he expects the administration will craft a solution so that employer health-care plans won't be hurt. "If I'm wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law."

If unions don't win the subsidy argument, they say that companies with unionized workers would become less competitive, especially compared with rivals too small to face the law's new requirements.



The Teamsters' Mr. Hall said his union has no plans to eliminate workers' insurance. Instead, he worries employers will have an incentive to drop coverage in collective bargaining if they can't tap the subsidies.

Central Blacktop Co., a Hodgkins, Ill., road builder that employs members of operating engineers Local 150, provides health benefits by paying $13.45 per hour that each member works, said Joseph Benson, the company's chief financial officer. That averages nearly $19,000 a year per worker.

"Ultimately any increase in expense to the fund is going to come from us down the line," he said.

1 Reply
Veteran Advisor

Re: Labor unions not happy with Obama care

So, if I understand right, in a nutshell:


Obamacare taxes 'Cadillac' or extravagant health care policies, to help lessen the cost of Obamacare to the taxpayer.

The labor unions want a subsidy (just for them) to offset the cost of Obamacare (to them), back to the average taxpayer.


How could anything possibly go wrong?