“We are disappointed that the nonprofit health plans offered by unions have not been given the same consideration [by the Obama administration] as the Catholic Church, big business and Capitol Hill staffers,” Unite-Here President D. Taylor told The Hill. It is a complaint that President Barack Obama will come face to face with when he addresses the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) convention this week.
The unions were a key ally in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. They spent a large sum of money on the congressional campaigns of Democrats in 2006 and 2008, and union leaders lobbied in favor of the health care reform in 2009 and 2010. But labor has grown increasingly worried that the law’s provisions will prompt employers to trim workers’ hours and tax the union-negotiated health plans, forcing workers off their union health plans and onto Obamacare’s potentially more expensive insurance exchanges.
So far, the appeal representatives of three of the nation’s largest unions sent to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California has not been addressed. ”When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act, you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat,” read their July letter. “Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”