Even unions oppose ObamaCare now

It is great to see the opposition continue to build against ObamaCare. For an update on the latest health care-related news, come to this event on Saturday, July 27, at which I’ll be speaking along with RGF board member Dr. Deane Waldman. So much news, most of it bad for the law, continues to come out. The new letter from some of America’s largest private sector labor unions.

While the entire letter is worth a read, the following paragraphs encapsulate some of the major issues the unions (and millions of Americans) have with ObamaCare:

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.

Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.

The letter concludes, “We continue to stand behind real health care reform, but the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.”

There are a few points worth noting here:

1) Unions can’t be this gullible. They should have seen this coming and their desire to “play ball” with Obama on health care is directly harming millions of union members;

2) You won’t see government employee unions like AFSCME among the opponents of ObamaCare because they benefit directly from bigger government. Private sector unions have to balance their desire for a robust market economy with the desire to obtain maximum benefits for their workers. It’s why FDR opposed government labor unions;

3) Opponents of ObamaCare must not only work to overturn this highly-vulnerable law, but to work to promote market-based health care reforms.