Unions Refuse To Advocate for Obamacare Enrollment


Credit: AFL CIO

Although the Obama administration has made enrollment cheerleaders out of the Baltimore Ravens, Organizing for America, and the now-disgraced Chad Henderson, many major unions who were allies of the president are now treating Obamacare-advocacy like a hot potato.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which has over 11 million members and is the largest federation of unions in the country, is displeased about the false promises of Obamacare and refuses to promote enrollment on the government's behalf. It's not just private sector unions, though. Politico explains:

The AFL-CIO isn't lifting a finger to help the White House — it remains in negotiations at the White House and on Capitol Hill to change elements of the law it finds objectionable to workers. Those talks were put on hold earlier this month during the government shutdown — a far larger concern for the federal government employee unions — and have begun to restart only in recent days, according to officials from multiple unions.

Major public-sector unions also aren't fired up to help the White House with a law that won't affect the vast majority of their members. Nor are they ready to register people who aren't union workers for a benefit they won't receive themselves.

Beth Moten, legislative and political director of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents over 650,000 federal employees, said that although the AFGE would like to help, but "frankly, we have our hands full in everything else, and we don't have [the] luxury of getting involved."

Even the American Federation of Teachers, the largest teacher union in the U.S., though they have made presentations for their own members, refuse to get involved in the touting enrollment to the communities in which they work. Furthermore, they expressed concerns about how the healthcare system will impact part-time teachers whose hours have been cut.

The imbroglio began earlier this year when the union leaders realized that Obamacare was not actually beneficial to their members and pensioners. The Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and UNITE HERE, which collectively have over 2.5 million members, sent a strongly-worded letter to the president demanding that changes be made so Obamacare would not hurt union workers. The president did not come through. Unions recently made another effort through the Senate Democrats, but that failed, too. The persistent problems that have been exposed since the Oct. 1 opening of the exchanges has done nothing to help the situation.

Unions are not the only one-time supporters who have now turned on Obamacare. Reason's Nick Gillespie covered another prominent advocate who recently abandoned ship.