Obamacare

Labor Leader Calls Obama's Promise that Union Members Will Be Able to Keep Their Health Care Plans "Simply Not True For Millions of Workers"

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Photo credit: screenpunk / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

At the beginning of the year, labor groups began to publicly grumble about the potential implications of Obamacare on union members. As written, the law will cause headaches for unions that provide health coverage to members via multiemployer plans. Currently, those plans cover about 26 million people.

Last month, a 22,000-member, D.C. based union—the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, which supported Obama in the 2012 campaign—became the first labor group to publicly call for full repeal of the president's health care law. So far, they're still the only union to call for full repeal of the law. But since then, other, larger labor groups have become increasingly outspoken in their concerns about the law.

The Hill reports today that several unions are warning "that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic" for big labor. One of those is the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which the article describes as "very worried about how the reform law will affect its members' healthcare plans."

Worried enough, in fact, that the head of the union is calling out President Obama for making misleading statements about the health law's impact:

In a new op-ed published in The Hill, UFCW President Joe Hansen homed in on the president's speech at the 2009 AFL-CIO convention. Obama at the time said union members could keep their insurance under the law, but Hansen writes "that the president's statement to labor in 2009 is simply not true for millions of workers."

Republicans have long attacked Obama's promise that "nothing in this plan will require you to change your coverage or your doctor." But the fact that unions are now noting it as well is a clear sign that supporters of the law are growing anxious about the law's implementation.  

I doubt the White House meant to make life difficult for unions with the health care law. But that's why these sorts of side effects are referred to as "unintended consequences." 

Read more on the specifics reasons why unions are concerned about Obamacare here.

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  1. Last month, a 22,000-member, D.C. based union?the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers…

    Two questions:

    1) Are there any unions that aren’t DC-based?
    2) That union name doesn’t rhyme very well.

    1. Roofers, Proofers and…troopers?

      1. Roofers, Proofers, and Fluffers.

    2. That union name doesn’t rhyme very well.

      That’s the troof.

    3. Two questions:

      1) Are there any unions that aren’t DC-based?
      2) That union name doesn’t rhyme very well.

      Number 2 is not a question.

    4. The United Union of Jokers, Smokers and Midnight Tokers.

      1. The head of the union is named Maurice.

        1. I thought it was the Space Cowboy?

          1. You’re thinking of the Pompetous of Love.

      2. and its sub-union of pickers, grinners, lovers and sinners.

  2. The unions that support the democrats will just be issued waivers. No big deal.

    1. WTF| 5.21.13 @ 3:17PM |#
      “The unions that support the democrats will just be issued waivers. No big deal.”

      Not with 22,000 members; not worth it. He’ll ignore ’em.

  3. Union workers? Fuck them anyway.

    1. Not until they are drained of every drop of schadenfreudemilch we can get out of ’em.

  4. RC’s Law Peter:

    Foreseeable consequences aren’t unintended.

    1. Controversy surrounds that phrasing.

      Perhaps:

      The foreseeable consequences of your actions are your responsibility, regardless of your intentions.

      (not that I put myself in RC’s class)

    2. DON’T TALK ABOUT RC!

      1. (quietly slinks to the back of the room)

  5. the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, which supported Obama in the 2012 campaign

    hahahaha! fuck you!

    1. Exactly. Here’s the world’s tiniest violin playing a sad tune for braindead partisan fools.

      1. Come on Epi, don’t be so hard on yourself. I mean, we all know your violin is small, but the world’s smallest? They have violins in Japan too, you know.

        1. Look, Hugh, it’s not the size of the violin, it’s the motion of the bow-tion.

  6. Remember when Barry promised to kill you last?

    He lied.

  7. Hansen writes “that the president’s statement to labor in 2009 is simply not true for millions of workers.”

    Racist monster! YOU NEVER REALLY LOVED HIM — !!!

    1. mmmbop!

  8. I’m sure they’ll convince themselves that when Barack beats them he really doesn’t mean it and it’s their fault anyway for egging him on.

    1. He wouldn’t beat them, he’d have a dues paying union member do the beating for him and yet this guy is complaining anyway!

  9. As a union worker myself, we’ve already seen some subtle changes methinks stems from Obamacare, but on the whole our plan has remained the same.

    We have a phenomenal plan with 100% of the premiums paid by our employer and I fear that obamacare is going to screw a good thing up 🙁

    My union doesn’t/didn’t make presidential endorsements or contribute money to either side.

    1. We have a phenomenal plan with 100% of the premiums paid by our employer…

      Taxpayers. Go ahead and say it. Tax. Payers.

      1. Tax payers can’t be his employers. If they were, they would be able to fire him without due process.

        1. teehee.

          Yes, tax payers.

          The tax payers and my union have an agreement.

          We serve them. They respect due process when one of us is accused of misconduct.

          It works well, at least if polling data and voting data is confirmed. We consistently get legislation that we propose/support voted on and passed by the people we serve and feedback surveys show overwhelming support for our agency amongst the people we serve… very high customer satisfaction #’s.

          When a member is accused of violations, he is treated fairly and the prosecutor’s office has zero problemo criminally charging when the fact pattern warrants it. Like I said, two of my buddies got charged with assault (both acquitted) recently.

          It’s a good system

          1. Yes, you’ve a very cozy relationship. No need to be glib about it. Not all of us have the political ties and inborn job protections your racket enjoys.

    2. We have a phenomenal plan with 100% of the premiums paid by our employer and I fear that obamacare is going to screw a good thing up 🙁

      you set yourself up for shorter Dunphy: “those sucker taxpayers meant I didn’t have to spend one nickel for my health care and now I’m pissed that, like all those regular folks, I’m going to have to pay at least part of my bills.”

      Sorry, dude; gravy train is not an everlasting ride.

      1. I fear it aint, my friend.

        Right now, it’s hella gravy. Great pay and great benefits. I have zero complaints. Our service population (based on feedback polls and voting) has immense and broad support for us, and they of course are the front line in fighting crime and work with us to help keep communities safe, as well as attend “citizen academies” and do “ridealongs” as part of open govt. and keeping communication and understanding an open line.

        Many, if not most agencies around us pay at least part of the premium. We uniquely do not, and I just fear that NEXT contract 🙁

        As somebody who has used the health care plan extensively (numerous surgeries the past couple of years and currently being treated for encephalitis to the tune of over 60k total), I have ZERO complaints. It’s a wonderful, extensive plan with next to no costs to us.

        I think the taxpayers are gettign excellent service but I could certainly see where they might want us to pony up a little cash ourselves to pay for our plan.

        1. I take back what I posted above; this looks sockpuppety. Anyone with sharper eyes than mine notice a discrepancy in his name? It seems suspiciously self-consciously prickish.

    3. “My union doesn’t/didn’t make presidential endorsements or contribute money to either side.”

      You’re fucked.

  10. United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers

    As more and more people begin coming out publically as roofers, it is important for their coworkers to stand by thier lifestyle decisions.

  11. Last month, a 22,000-member, D.C. based union?the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, which supported Obama in the 2012 campaign — became the first labor group to publicly call for full repeal of the president’s health care law.

    If you’re going to get into bed with the Devil, you’d better be ready to fuck.

  12. Subverting the bankruptcy process and screwing people with secured debt wasn’t enough? What more do the unions want from him?!

  13. In my state the government is attempting to drop health coverage for their part-time union employees to balance the budget. When the employees began to ask where they will get their healthcare, the answer was Obamacare. They voted for this shit sandwich, now they get to eat it.

    I live in the second or third bluest state in the country, so I expect to see more of this.

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