My heart bleeds for Big Labor. Really, it does.
**Posted by Phineas
It’s just that you can’t see that through all my laughing and pointing:
Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. 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.
Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.
Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating 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.
That’s an excerpt from an open letter written by the heads of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE unions, whining that Obamacare will hurt their members and that it’s unfair that businesses got a delay in implementation, but the loyal unionistas didn’t. Do read the whole thing and see if you can get through it without saying “We tried to warn you, you corrupt dummies!” several times.
I found it impossible.
I was going to go into a long diatribe about the unions reaping what they sowed, but Ed Morrissey (hat tip) kindly did it for me:
Maybe if they’d listened to Tea Party activists instead of shouting them down, the union leaders might have figured this out in 2009. Opponents of the bill argued all along that the incentives presented by ObamaCare would kill employer-based coverage, either by depressing hiring or by depressing hours. We’ve gotten both since the bill’s passage, just as critics predicted.
[RE: Obamacare’s treatment of union group medical plans] Excuse me, but this was even more obvious than the employment consequences. Subsidies are only available to consumers in the individual insurance exchanges. Union health plans are group plans (and partly employer coverage, as the letter points out). They’re no more eligible for subsidies than consumers in employer plans, and they’ll get taxed just like all other “Cadillac” group plans. This is only news to those who manned the barricades rather than reading the fine print, or really any print at all.
Ed’s right, the union bosses should resign in disgrace for selling out their membership. But, they won’t. Mob bosses never go quietly. Meanwhile, I’m going to relax and enjoy the sweet scent of schadenfreude.
PS: If you’ve forgotten why I feel a special disdain and contempt for Jimmy Hoffa, jr., the Teamsters boss, let me remind you.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)