Unions let members down: Low wage earners hit hard by PPACA

medicine bottle

Photo of medicine bottle/CDC

Unions are unhappy with the PPACA/Obamacare tax bill, and another labor group is demanding reform.

Personally, I don’t believe the bill can be reformed. I believe the only solution is repeal followed by an expansion of the consumer market and that would include options for Medicare subscribers.

It’s easy enough to keep the two big carrots—insuring a child on a parent’s plan until age 26 and non-termination if you get sick.

The Washington Examiner explained the wage decrease some union members will experience:

“Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. ‘If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage, said the union in a new report.”

The full union statement echoes concerns Republicans have expressed repeatedly, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who dealt with a verbal assassination from both parties after his all-nighter protesting the funding of the bill. Cruz has unique legal skills that enabled him to see the depth of the PPACA and the impact on the healthcare market, akin to obliteration. Even a perfunctory reading of the bill suggests the same.

Unite Here was the first union to endorse Obama’s candidacy.

The president has in actuality rewritten the bill Democrats passed, most of them voting for it without reading it. The White House has implemented a number of delays and waivers, including a delay on the employer mandate. The individual mandate still stands. The president refused to go through Congress to do these things even though the GOP recommended many of the changes early on. The expansion of executive actions warrants a very close look at the legitimacy of the changes.

Unions actively lobbied for the bill, and according to the book Shadowbosses (Dr. Mallory Factor), influenced the bill significantly.

Once the Supreme Court upheld the bill by nudging the Justice Dept. to classify the mandate as a tax rather than as a penalty called for in the enabling legislation, the bill technically became law. In addition to numerous waivers (more than 1,000) and revisions the president wrote, certain taxes have been repealed on a bipartisan basis before the full bill was even implemented.

A pundit on Sunday, in an interview with Cruz, seemed astounded anyone would propose repealing the PPACA/Obamacare tax bill. Obviously, the pundit has not read the bill. Repeal is the only solution, with market-based reform to follow.

With this latest criticism by a labor group, we can wonder whether union members will hold their own leaders and their preferred political party accountable for what was presented as a healthcare bill but what is actually a tax bill.

Former senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), principal architect of the bill’s passage, called it an “underfunded train wreck.”

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 10, 2014)

Numerous articles about healthcare and the Obamacare tax bill are archived at dayontheday.com; see the Healthcare category in the right column.

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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