Union Obamacare Subsidies Would Cost Nearly $187 Billion

President Barack Obama speaks at an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic / AP

President Barack Obama speaks at an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic / AP


Obamacare’s union critics are lobbying the administration to open up nearly $187 billion in federal subsidies to unions’ healthcare plans, according to a new study.

Obamacare passed in 2010 with heavy backing from labor groups, but unions have criticized the legislation because it is taking a toll on employee hours and threatens union healthcare plans.

Unions are now calling on the administration to loosen Obamacare eligibility requirements to subsidize union health plans. The move would cost taxpayers about $187 billion over ten years, according to American Action Forum.

“If these subsidies—designed to help families without employer sponsored insurance—were extended to union workers enrolled in Taft-Hartley plans and their families, it would bring 3 million more households onto the rolls and cost an additional $16 billion in 2014 alone,” the group said. “If the number of union members in Taft-Hartley plans remains constant, this estimate grows to $187 billion within the first 10 years.”

Three major labor groups—the Teamsters, UNITE-HERE, and the United Food and Commercial Workers—sent letters in July to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) asking them to approve subsidies for union plans.

“[Obamacare 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 letter said.