And Now The Unions Are Angry At Obamacare: AFL-CIO To Press For Healthcare Law Changes

While Syria may have avoided a fate of being bombed (or worse) just so Obama could find what's in it (or rather the pretext to have gotten involved in the first place) Obama's Affordable Care Act did not have the luck of avoiding such a reflexive fallacy. Of course, most rational people and those who actually did the math on Obamacare (as simplified in the chart below), were well aware that America's conversion to a socialist healthcare mandate would not seamless, and in reality would lead to far further disappointment with the outcome. One such outcome, of course is the wholesale elimination of full-time jobs as small, medium and large business all pursue the "part-time" worker loophole, which has lead to a surge in part-time jobs and at the expense of normal, full-time occupations. This was most recently experienced by the New Jersey worker union which was shocked to find that a local casino was overly relying on part-time workers, and complained bitterly.  However, while the labor impacts of Obamacare are only indirect if quite painful for most, slowly but surely the impact of Obamacare on actual health coverage, and the lack thereof, are starting to be appreciated.... long after the law has passed.


Moments ago The Hill reported that the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the US and one of Obama's staunchest supporters, is expected to consider a resolution, "subject to fierce internal debate, that will call for changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — setting up a potential floor vote this Wednesday before the convention closes." In other words, the one constituency that was supposed to be among the biggest benefactors from Obamacare is about to launch a formal criticism of Obamacare as "frustration has grown within labor as the Obama administration has failed to offer a fix to temper union worries over the law."


But at least "they passed it."


The Hill has more on the four page draft resolution that contains the AFL-CIO's grievances:



The draft resolution says that “federal agencies administering the ACA” are “threatening the ability of workers to keep health care coverage through some collectively bargained, non-profit health care funds” under their interpretation of the law.


 


In addition, the resolution claims “some workers might not be able to keep their coverage,” and the law will be “highly disruptive” to union members’ health plans, known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. ObamaCare “will effectively use taxpayer dollars to subsidize employers that refuse to take responsibility for providing their employees health care” while taxing nonprofit plans to benefit insurance companies.


 


The measure also states that “the ACA should be administered in a manner that preserves the high-quality health coverage multiemployer plans have provided to union families for decades and if this is not possible, we will demand the ACA be amended by Congress.”


 


“People have been working with the White House for a long time. There has been growing frustration that we haven’t made any progress,” Sean McGarvey, president of the Building Trades and Construction Department, told The Hill.



The draft resolution has "support from all sectors of labor. Manufacturing, transportation, public sector,” McGarvey said."


Naturally, the last thing the president, neck deep in scandals, needs is yet another internal revolt, this time from a core constituency group. Or at least formerly so. Which is why none other than trusted confidant Valerie Jarrett was dispatched for damage control.



On Sunday in Los Angeles, Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers, told union officials that the administration is working on their concerns over the healthcare reform law.


 


“Though there are challenges that remain, and [AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka] and I were just talking about some of those challenges. We intend to work to solve those problems big and small, and we are committed to sitting down in good faith and working on solutions,” Jarrett said.



Good luck with solutions to a law whose impact will only be realized as the law become effective, although one thing that is clear is to the unions is that core parts of Obamacare simply will not provide coverage:



The resolution claims “some workers might not be able to keep their coverage,” and the law will be “highly disruptive” to union members’ health plans, known as multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans. ObamaCare “will effectively use taxpayer dollars to subsidize employers that refuse to take responsibility for providing their employees health care” while taxing nonprofit plans to benefit insurance companies.


 


The measure also states that “the ACA should be administered in a manner that preserves the high-quality health coverage multiemployer plans have provided to union families for decades and if this is not possible, we will demand the ACA be amended by Congress.”



Well, at least that much is known understood. On the other hand, the labor union also understands that if it alienates Obama then all bets are off.



McGarvey, the head of the Building Trades, said the measure has grown less critical of ObamaCare as it has moved through the drafting process.


 


“It’s less biting, but it does point out the positive attributes of the act that we have supported for decades,” McGarvey said.


 


Robbins with ALPA said the draft resolution has changed as well, saying the original “did not do as good of a job of drawing a distinction between the positive elements of the ACA and the very major but narrow concerns with the ACA.”



Alas, the time for diplomacy has passed and now that the cat is out of the bag that Obama's healthcare law will not be the magic bullet so many had hoped for, it is inevitable that a very acrimonious outcome will result, one which may end up with Obamacare being revised. That this comes at precisely the worst time - when the GOP is using Obamacare as a bargaining chip over debt ceiling abd budgeting negotiations - is hardly lost on anyone either.


But the lesson here is that all of this could have been avoided simply, if only everyone had been acquainted with and understood just what the government's takeover of healthcare entailed. A process that we explained, delightfully simply, a few weeks ago, with the help of the following inforgraphic.



And now everything should be crystal clear.

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