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January 31 2014

Unions Cry Foul on ObamaCare

Patrice J. Lee

Last fall we reported on the frustration unions had with the Administration and it’s back peddling on promised sweetheart deals and exemptions to protect them from ObamaCare.

Now, leaders of the major labor unions are crying that the proposed regulations meant to appease them won’t go far enough. They charge that their members are now facing the real effects of ObamaCare with little protection and they are “bitterly disappointed.”

The Hill reports on a letter to Democratic congressional leadership in which union bosses spell out their qualms:

“If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care,” read the letter from Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here.

They said the administration has failed to address their concerns about worker health plans, and the healthcare law threatens to lower living standards for the working class.

“It would be a sad irony if the signature legislative accomplishment of an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers,” the labor leaders wrote.

O’Sullivan and Taylor suggested that Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, in a recent letter to some lawmakers, might have misled lawmakers to believe that the new rules have addressed unions’ concerns about the healthcare law.

Should we feel any sympathy for these unions? No.

Many unions threw their full support behind the unAffordable Care Act when it first passed in 2010 and some even provided help in crafting the bill. They thought they had secured assurances from the President of subsidies to offset the costs of their plans, but he delivered more broken promises. Now, they face new taxes and fees as well as the reality that their members could lose their insurance plans and be forced to purchase more expensive coverage. Sound familiar?

Most Americans –including the 5 million Americans whose healthcare coverage was cancelled last fall because of ObamaCare– faced the same fate. Unfortunately, they have no advocate to seek protections and exemptions. That should be the job of their representatives but they are too busy locking down sweetheart deals for their staff.

Unions aren’t the only ones at odds with ObamaCare. Hobby Lobby and other companies are fighting nefarious provisions of the healthcare reform law that mandate they provide services that comprise tenets of their faith. (Read about how IWF has joined this battle). Nuns are even in on the action.

2013 and 2014 are marked by ObamaCare’s impact on individuals: the individual mandate, the individual penalty, the failure of healthcare.gov to work for individuals, and the slow enrollment of individuals into ObamaCare exchanges.

I predict that 2015 will be the year of ObamaCare’s harm to employers and business (big and small): the employer mandate; employers cutting hours, eliminating jobs, forgoing hiring, and dropping health care coverage for worker; penalties for employers; sneaky hidden taxes for business; and more.

A majority of Americans have soured on ObamaCare. By next year, they will downright disdain it. The Administration and proponents of ObamaCare will not only face the ire of conservatives and Tea Party supporters, but liberal loyalists like union members who will all have experienced the full harm of ObamaCare.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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