The AFL-CIO approved a resolution saying that President Obama’s health care reform law will drive up the costs of union-sponsored health plans to the point that workers and employers are forced to abandon them.
In a strongly-worded resolution released Wednesday, the federation said that labor unions still support the Affordable Care Act’s overall goals of reducing health costs and bringing coverage to all Americans, but added that the law is being implemented in a way that is “highly disruptive” to union health care plans.
Some individual unions have complained about the law’s impact for months, but the resolution marks the first time the nation’s largest labor federation has gone on record embracing that view. Unions were among the most enthusiastic backers of the law when it passed in 2010.
A labor official told The Associated Press that White House officials had been calling labor leaders for days to urge them not to voice their concerns in the form of a resolution. The official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the conversations publicly and requested anonymity, said many union leaders insisted that they wanted to highlight their concerns.
Asked about any efforts to discourage unions from passing the resolution, the White House said in a statement Wednesday night that officials “are in regular contact with a variety of stakeholders, including unions, as part of our efforts to ensure smooth implementation and to improve the law.”
Er, no. Translation: WH officials are in “regular contact” with big money donors like Big Labor in order to try and sooth their fears and keep them on their side in advance of the 2014 elections. Of course, unionistas will still mostly stick with Democrats next year as they know ultimately who butters their bread, but it could be that the sustained fighting among themselves – and the White House – on this issue could peel off just enough votes to make political life a little more difficult for Democrats in states where the union vote means everything.
Stay tuned ….
Obamacare: Bad for your wallet, your health … and just maybe your political career if you’re a Big Labor Democrat.