Labor Unions to Pelosi, Reid: Obamacare Healthcare Reform Hurts Us Too


Three major unions wrote a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) asking them to fix major flaws in Obamacare that “will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The letter, sent on Friday by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a hotel workers union, and a food workers union, notes the unions’ strong support for Democrats, but argues that the Obama administration’s signature accomplishment will devastate them.

When you and the president sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. 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.

The unions contend that their complaints to the administration about the law have gone unheard, while the complaints of others—including those who hire union members—have been heeded.

The unions continue:

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:

The unions complain that the law undermines the standard 40-hour workweek by encouraging employers to drop their employees’ hours to under 30 hours per week. They also complain that their nonprofit health plans will not be subsidized like other plans and yet will be taxed.

We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the president pledged. Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.

The letter follows other indications that the law’s implementation is not going smoothly.

In addition to the employer mandate delay, the administration delayed for one year the requirement that states verify the income and insurance status of those applying for subsidies to help them purchase insurance.

This leaves the exchanges and subsidy program open to fraud, experts have argued.