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Unions Hit Hard by Obamacare Costs – How Ironic!

Labor unions upset over increased costs due to Obamacare
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Labor Union leaders across the country are finding out what the rest of the nation already knew: Obamacare is going to cost them dearly.Organized labor overwhelmingly supported the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) when it was debated. Now, labor unions are finding the costs could not only hurt membership, it could make unionized workers less competitive.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, as reported by The Blaze, some of the issues labor leaders are discovering:

  • Obamacare eliminates the limits set on medical benefits and prescription drugs that were used as cost-curbing measures. This makes the health care more expensive.
  • The plan allows children to stay on parents’ plans until they turn 26 years of age — again more expensive for the policy provider.
  • Mandating benefits and imposing regulations has increased the cost of policies offered to union employees.

Labor leaders, such as the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, are pressing Obama to allow subsidies to be extended to lower-paid union employees.   These subsidies in Obamacare were designed to allow low-paid workers who didn’t have access to insurance at work the opportunity to purchase a private health plan. The subsidies would offset the increased costs to the unions for health plans.

However, the feds denied union requests to have these subsidies offered to union members. Now, many union leaders are saying increased costs could cause unionized businesses to have to drop health care coverage for workers.

Some union organizations have already looked at shifting their workers off current policies and onto private plans subsidized by the government. But, labor leaders say, that would undermine one of the big reasons for joining a union in the first place – reportedly better benefits, salary, etc.

John Wilhelm, the chairman of Unite Here Health, provides insurance plans for some 260,000 unionized workers and said he remembers Obama saying, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” Wilhelm adds,

If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.

It seems maybe organized labor should have read the bill before they supported it.

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