The President has been under increased pressure from unions, which are seeking any possible exemption they can from his healthcare law. However, the President assured America that no one was getting an exemption– not even labor.
On Sept. 11, the last day of the AFL-CIO quadrennial convention was held in Los Angeles. Here, prominent labor leaders attacked provisions of the health care law, warning that if left intact they would devastate union-backed health plans that were decades in the making. Terry O’Sullivan, the International Union of North America General President, addressed the convention,“We’ll be damned if we’re going to lose our health care plan because of unintended consequences.”
Unions are in an uproar because the Patient Care Act does not allow them to receive premium tax credits under multiemployer union health plans and forces them to pay the reinsurance tax. In a resolution, labor also demanded that the ACA excise tax, reinsurance tax and other taxes to be nullified for collectively bargained plans, union administered plans and other various plans that cover union-represented workers.
Robert Scardelletti, president of the Transportation Communications International Union/International Association of Machinists (TCU/AIM), estimates that under current ACA rules, his union’s multiemployer health fund will have to pay $27 million in taxes. He’s not happy about it.
At the convention, labor said that if their demands weren’t met, then the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.
Three days after the convention the Obama administration told labor– no exemptions. It was not legally possible.
However, those exemption requests by labor are now coming to fruit. Last week the Obama administration released hundreds upon hundreds of pages worth of new rules and regulations for the healthcare law. Inside, a new loophole for unions was discovered. A disclosure exists that the administration will propose exempting “certain self-insured, self-administered plans” from the laws reinsurance tax. Such a description applies to the majority of the Taft-Hartley union healthcare plans, which act as their own insurance company and claims processors.
Eliminating this specific fee was one of the key parts of the resolution adopted by labor at the convention. According to a report by Kaiser Health, labor most likely just got their exemption.
Piece by piece Obamacare is being chipped away at via exemptions, which are all against the law. However, unions have proved a point that perhaps all opponents of Obamcare should take note of. When organized, Obamacare can be defeated.
To read more about how Obamacare is not a law, but a new 3-letter agency read my op-ed.
Follow Michael Lotfi On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi