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- May 24, 2013

ONCE ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORTERS OF OBAMACARE, UNIONS HAVE BECOME INCENSED OVER THE LAW

Labor Unions Are Becoming "Frustrated And Angry" Over Unintended Consequences In ObamaCare. "But some unions leaders have grown frustrated and angry about what they say are unexpected consequences of the new law - problems that they say could jeopardize the health benefits offered to millions of their members." (Sam Hananel, "Some Unions Now Angry About Health Care Overhaul," The Associated Press, 5/24/13)

  • Labor Unions Were Among The "Strongest Supporters" Of Obama And Democrats, "Spending Millions" To Ensure That Obama Was Re-Elected And That Democrats Retained The Majority In The Senate. "When President Barack Obama pushed his health care overhaul plan through Congress, he counted labor unions among his strongest supporters. … Labor unions have been among the president's closest allies, spending millions of dollars to help him win re-election and help Democrats keep their majority in the Senate." (Sam Hananel, "Some Unions Now Angry About Health Care Overhaul," The Associated Press, 5/24/13)

Several Unions Are Calling For ObamaCare's Repeal, While Others Are Calling For Major Changes To The Law

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) "Is Very Worried" About ObamaCare's Effect On "Its Members' Health Care Plans." "The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) - a 1.3 million-member labor group that twice endorsed Obama for president - is very worried about how the reform law will affect its members' health care plans." (Kevin Brogadus, "Unions Break Ranks On ObamaCare," The Hill's Health Watch, 5/21/13)

UFCW Head Joseph Hansen On Obama's "Keep Your Plan" Promise: "[I]s Simply Not True For Millions Of Workers." "Unfortunately, what also has become increasingly clear with each passing day is that the president's statement to labor in 2009 is simply not true for millions of workers." (Joseph T. Hansen, Op-Ed, "Treat Nonprofit Health Care Fairly," The Hill, 5/20/13)

  • Hansen: "Employers Will Pay Higher Costs" And "They Will Be Forced To Change Their Coverage And Possibly Their Doctor." "This creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers currently on our plans and push them onto the exchanges where many will pay higher costs for poorer insurance with a more limited network of providers. In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid, where taxpayers must pick up the tab." (Joseph T. Hansen, Op-Ed, "Treat Nonprofit Health Care Fairly," The Hill, 5/20/13)
  • Hansen: Employers Will Reduce Hours Or Cut Part-Time Health Benefits To Comply With ObamaCare. "In addition, the ACA includes a fine for failing to cover full-time workers but includes no such penalty for part-timers (defined as working less than 30 hours a week). As a result, many employers are either reducing hours below 30 or discontinuing part-time health coverage altogether. This is a cut in pay and benefits workers simply cannot afford. For example, a worker making $10 an hour that has his or her schedule cut by six hours a week would lose $3,100 a year in income. With millions of workers impacted, this would have a devastating effect on our economy." (Joseph T. Hansen, Op-Ed, "Treat Nonprofit Health Care Fairly," The Hill, 5/20/13)
  • Hansen: "You Can't Have The Same Quality Health Care That You Had Before, Despite What The President Said." "'You can't have the same quality health care that you had before, despite what the president said,' Hansen said." (Kevin Brogadus, "Unions Break Ranks On ObamaCare," The Hill's Health Watch, 5/21/13)

Union Leaders That Enthusiastically Supported ObamaCare Are Now Saying That ObamaCare's Requirements Will Increase The Costs Of Their Health Plans. "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." (Janet Adamy and Melanie Trottman, "Some Unions Grow Wary Of Health Law They Backed," The Wall Street Journal ¸1/30/13)

The United Union Of Roofers, Waterproofers And Allied Workers Are "Reversing Course" And Are Calling For Repeal Of ObamaCare As Costs Rise For Their Members. "A labor union representing roofers is reversing course and calling for repeal of the federal health law, citing concerns the law will raise its cost for insuring members. Organized labor was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, but more recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is believed to be the first union to initially support the law and later call for its repeal." (Janet Adamy, "Roofer Union Calls For Repeal Of Obama Health Law," The Wall Street Journal, 4/16/13)

"UNITE HERE, A Prominent Hotel Workers' Union, And The International Brotherhood Of Teamsters Are Also Pushing For Changes." (Kevin Brogadus, "Unions Break Ranks On ObamaCare," The Hill's Health Watch, 5/21/13)

The Director Of Health Care Initiatives For The Operating Engineers Union: "We're Concerned That Employers Will Be Increasingly Tempted To Drop Coverage …" "'We're concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges,' said David Treanor, director of health care initiatives at the Operating Engineers union." (Sam Hananel, "Some Unions Now Angry About Health Care Overhaul," The Associated Press, 5/24/13)

With 2014 Looming, Democrats Are Worried About The "Political Headache" ObamaCare Could Cause

"The Issue Could Create A Political Headache" For Democrats In 2014. "The issue could create a political headache next year for Democrats facing re-election if disgruntled union members believe the Obama administration and Congress aren't working to fix the problem." (Sam Hananel, "Some Unions Now Angry About Health Care Overhaul," The Associated Press, 5/24/13)

  • UFCW's Joseph Hansen Said That ObamaCare Is Going To Be An Issue In 2014, And Union Members Are Already Upset Even Though The Law Hasn't Taken Effect. "'What happens in 2014 could be at issue here. ... There is going to be a lot of disenchantment with how did this happen and who was in power when it happened. No matter what I say, that's going to be there,' Hansen said. 'They are upset already and it hasn't even taken effect already.'" (Kevin Brogadus, "Unions Break Ranks On ObamaCare," The Hill's Health Watch, 5/21/13)

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