PJ Media encourages you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY.

April 18, 2013

MEGAN MCARDLE: Is Labor Turning Against Obamacare?

Some unions are worried that Obamacare is taking away some of the tools they use to control utilization and costs. There’s also a lot of concern that these plans are going to get hit by the “Cadillac Tax” on generous health benefits. The unions are unhappy about this, and not just because health insurance is tax advantaged; they view the generosity of their benefits as both an organizing tool, and a form of social engineering. It takes the same number of hours worked to qualify for health benefits whether you’re a single or a family, and the unions like it that way. They’re fairly socially conservative organizations. And besides, the spouses like the benefits, which keeps ’em in the union.

Obamacare did very little to accomodate the multi-employer plans. Perhaps that was due to be hashed out in the final bill, but of course, we didn’t get a final bill, because the election of Scott Brown threw everything into chaos. Instead they hastily passed what was basically a draft bill, which had done virtually nothing about the MEPs. The unions supported it anyway, undoubtedly because they were assured by the Obama administration that the problems would be fixed later. From what I understand, they still haven’t been.

This business of rushing bills through without proper hearings, markups, etc. — as was done with ObamaCare, attempted with gun control, and may still be done with the immigration bill — is a formula for bad legislation. It’s also bad politics over the long run, as it undermines trust. Had the gun bill gone through ordinary procedures with plenty of time for people to figure out what it did, it might have gotten more support — but a fair inference is that its supporters thought it would do worse if people knew what was in it.

Ending these rushed-through monster bills would not only give us better legislation, it would be good for our political culture.

Comments are closed.