Some key labor unions who were the “boots on the ground” that got democrats elected in 2006 and 2008 prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act are now concerned that “Obamacare” may prove detrimental to their current health plans. In a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy “we-have-to-pass-it-to-see-what’s-in-it” Pelosi, three major labor unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters expressed their concern that they would be subjected to the same rules they forced on the rest of the country. Part of the letter read, “you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat”.
Just for a little context, here is James Hoffa, President of the Teamsters, speaking at an event in 2011.
Hoffa refers to a “War on Workers” from the Tea Party, apparently not realizing at the time that the Tea Party, which he claims to be “at war with” was formed in no small part because of opposition to Obamacare, and the ravages it would cause on the economy, and to individuals. He apparently missed the irony when penning his letter to Pelosi and Reid complaining that:
The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe… Perverse incentives are causing nightmare scenarios. First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
So what these unions are saying is that despite having no idea what was in the Affordable Care Act, they supported the politicians who voted for it, apparently only paying attention to the name of the bill, instead of the thousand pages inside which would become law. (Of course if you read VigilantVote, then you already knew that employers were cutting hours to avoid paying health benefits, and that the cost is already on the rise.) The letter whines, “In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.” Or, now your chickens have come home to roost. Essentially the major problem the unions have with Obamacare is that they are not exempted from it, being able to keep their current cushy health plans. So then why would they be so cruel as to subject the rest of the country to a terrible bill which pretends to improve American healthcare?
The letter concludes:
…on behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent and the families they support, we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.
Oh, there it is, “along with millions of other hardworking Americans”, the unions do care! The full story appears on Forbes.com, and includes a table which shows how many Americans have had employer sponsored health insurance from 1999-2011. A steep drop in employer based health insurance can be seen in the same year, and years following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act–which has apparently made care less affordable. So if Obamacare was the solution to declining access to healthcare from employers, then why immediately following its implementation was the situation made worse?
And this is what is so aggravating about politics, that despite a bill making health care less available and less effective for millions of Americans, people believe that it will be beneficial. Based solely on the misleading name of the bill, unions and millions of other people supported the passage of Obamacare without bothering to think for themselves if it would make the healthcare situation in America better or worse. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Obamacare will not help Americans, instead it will make health care less affordable, and less effective. Thanks unions, for realizing this a little too late. Maybe if they spent less time demonizing the Tea Party, and more time looking into the politicians they support and the bills those politicians vote for, we wouldn’t be in this mess.