Wall Street Journal’s Streaming Coverage
President Obama is beginning to find an unlikely rival to his signature health-care overhaul initiative — labor unions.
By Russ Britt
The Hill reports that President Obama is beginning to find an unlikely rival to his signature health-care overhaul initiative — labor unions.
Several labor groups are concerned that implementation of the measure formally known as the Affordable Care Act will let their members fall through the cracks in the law and they’re calling for those to be patched up before the major portions of the bill go into effect next year, The Hill said in a report on Tuesday.
The publication that covers Washington politics said the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers Union is worried that restaurant employees covered under multi-employer coverage known as Taft-Hartley plans. It seems that those plans, which cover 20 million people, are not be eligible for tax subsidies.
Therefore, employers may release their workers from those plans and let them pursue their own insurance on state-run exchanges. Democratic leaders, including outgoing Montana Sen. Max Baucus, are worried that troubles like these could result in a “train wreck” once the administration tries to pass the measure.
Further, other unions are concerned about the issue, including the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, as well as the hotel workers’ union Unite Here and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. And passing legislation to repair any fixes may be impossible with the current divisive climate in Congress.
UFCW President Joseph Hansen, in an accompanying op-ed piece for the publication, nevertheless said it is up to Obama to try and find a solution.
“We’d be open to a legislative fix, but ultimately this is the administration’s responsibility. They are leading the regulatory process. It’s their signature law,” Hansen wrote. “We don’t want a handout. Our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have. We just want them to be treated fairly.”
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