When Your Enemy Makes the Case Against Obamacare For You
March 9, 2014 - 2:52 pm
You almost want to feel sorry for Donald Taylor, head of the Unite Here union, who, too late, woke up to what Obamacare is doing to the Middle Class.
Almost — but, in the end, uh-uh.
Taylor’s union represents about 265,000 low wage service workers in the hospitality industry and the nightmare of Obamacare is just beginning for them.
A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.
Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. “If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage,” said the union in a new report.
“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”
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Based on government and private reports, polling and statements from administration officials, the report, to be sent to pro-union members in Congress, charges that low-wage workers are taking the hit under Obamacare, while wealthy insurance companies fatten up on government subsidies.
The sheer unfairness of it all rankles Taylor. Too bad he couldn’t get outraged before the vote was taken that passed Obamacare in the first place:
Unite Here’s document charges that the administration is putting union health care into a “death spiral.” It endorsed criticism that employers will move workers to part-time status to avoid the requirement that those working 30 hours or more a week be provided health insurance — or else the company pays a penalty. And it says the Affordable Care Act will shift workers from union insurance to the more expensive Obamacare health exchanges, costing them up to half of their pay to cover premiums.
“The information addresses the very unfortunate irony of Obamacare,” Taylor said in his letter about the report. “Namely, that it will inevitably lead to the destruction of the health care plans we were promised we could keep. And, as a result, it will lead to greater income inequality for the very segment of the population Obamacare should want to help most.”
Trot this guy out the next time Obama rails against Republicans for supporting income inequality.
That won’t happen, but Taylor’s comments are a window into the thinking of other union heads who have complained off and on over the last few months about the effect of Obamacare on their members. Their complaints ring hollow considering it was their support that helped bring the law into being in the first place. Incredibly, Democrats are telling the unions to suck it up and play ball:
Taylor also suggested that Democrats in Washington are telling unions to stop griping about the impact of Obamacare on their members. He quoted a Senate aide saying, “Labor needs to regress to the mean.” Said Taylor: “In other words, roll back what you have and take one for the team. Ironic, given that Congress and the president carved out an exemption for staffers on the ACA. We cannot sit idly by as the politicians carve up our health plans while they carve out exceptions for themselves and every special interest feeding at the trough in Washington.”
The truth hurts — especially when it is late in being recognized.