As the media, by and large, ignores the train wreck that is on the horizon with ObamaCare, yet another union has jumped ship on the president’s health care overhaul. Back in April, you may recall, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers officially said thanks but no thanks to the president’s plan.
Well, now, a major labor union in the grocery industry is balking at the policy. According to The Hill:
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) — a 1.3 million-member labor group that twice endorsed Obama for president — is very worried about how the reform law will affect its members’ healthcare plans.
Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers released a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”
UNITE HERE, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also pushing for changes.
In a May 21 post, Sean Hackbarth at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Free Enterprise blog cited Joseph Hansen, President of the UFCW, saying that the Affordable Care Act actually harms unions by jeopardizing the way labor and management negotiate their health care plans:
[A]s currently interpreted, the ACA would block these plans from the law’s benefits (such as the subsidy for lower-income individuals and families) while subjecting them to the law’s penalties (like the $63 per insured person to subsidize Big Insurance). This creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers currently on our plans and push them onto the exchanges where many will pay higher costs for poorer insurance with a more limited network of providers. In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid, where taxpayers must pick up the tab.
In addition, the ACA includes a fine for failing to cover full-time workers but includes no such penalty for part-timers (defined as working less than 30 hours a week). As a result, many employers are either reducing hours below 30 or discontinuing part-time health coverage altogether. This is a cut in pay and benefits workers simply cannot afford. For example, a worker making $10 an hour that has his or her schedule cut by six hours a week would lose $3,100 a year in income. With millions of workers impacted, this would have a devastating effect on our economy.
Keep in mind these unions were and remain, for the most part, fans of President Obama. Thus far, however, the broadcast media and major newspapers seem to be ignoring this development. In fairness, the Benghazi, AP, and the IRS scandals are what’s hot in the Washington press corps right now and doubtless these scandals do cast a negative light on the Obama administration. That said, were it President Bush facing a trio of scandals and receiving calls by say evangelical Christians for the repeal of one of his legislative achievements, you can bet the media would find space to highlight that, all the more to amplify the Republican president's mounting second-term woes.