So the unions were duped into believing that Obama would take care of their health insurance issues and card check demands after they got him elected in 2008 and then again in 2012.Really?The unions are now waking up to the fact that Obamas promises were political moves that were never meant to be honored.It took the unions five years to figure this out, but better late than never I guess.
In a stern letter to House Minority Leader Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, the unions stated that the proposed regulations to the Affordable Care Act would do nothing to help union health plans. In fact, these regulations would cut living standards for middle and low wage workers.Hey!Welcome to the realization that all of the rest of America has been dealing with.
The unions are livid over the fact that the healthcare law does not provide subsidies for the Taft-Hartley plans (union negotiated trust funds), which affects about 20 million people. The Treasury Department has decided that the Taft-Hartley plans cannot receive the tax break or subsidies because basically their employer pays for their plans.The unions basically want to “double dip”, they want the government and their employers to fund their benefits.The legislation also slaps a $63 a person annual tax on non-profit self-funded plans including unions’ plans and uses that money to subsidize insurance companies that take on patients with higher costs.They are outraged that the unions don’t get any of that subsidy money.
After Obama was securely seated in the White House and Obamacare was passed with the major help and tactics of the labor unions, labor leaders soon realized that perhaps the promises made by Obama and his administration were not being kept.Union leaders have voiced their concerns in numerous meetings at the White House and were always appeased with false promises.In fact, on September 13, 2013, top leaders met for an hour with the President and top administration officials over the Taft-Hartley concerns and then later found out that around the same time, a letter was written to GOP lawmakers saying that the Taft-Hartley plans would not get subsidies!
The White House was playing both sides of the fence.Their strategy was and is to appease all parties and try and get through the 2014 elections with as few casualties as possible.The empty promise that was made when Obamacare was being discussed before its passage was “don’t worry, if there are problems, we will get them fixed”.Now with the reality of what Obamacare really means, the unions feel that they have been duped, mis-lead and lied to.
Now, in retaliation, the unions are threatening to pull support for Democrat candidates in the 2014 mid-terms.They know how much influence they wield and the anger growing among their members can possibly be used as a bargaining chip. Donald Taylor, president of Unite Here says when asking members to support Democrats; “You just can’t order people to do stuff.If their health plan gets wrecked, why would they then go campaign for the folks responsible for wrecking their health care?”
The Laborers’ International Union is beginning to warm up to some Republican candidates like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whom they supported for re-election.It seems unlikely that the unions will switch loyalties and support the Republican Party, but it is possible that they will lose enthusiasm for the Democrat candidates and make lackluster attempts to get them elected.
As the election nears the Obama administration and the Democrat party will re-evaluate their position and it is very possible that we will see a sweetheart deal that appeases the unions.