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Desperately seeking waivers: Union disgruntlement with Obamacare spreading

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By Doug Powers  •  May 25, 2013 02:04 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Last month, a 22,000 member United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers — the same one that endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and lobbied for passage of Obamacare — called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The list of those unions who are starting to realize they may have sawed off the same branch they were sitting on is growing:

Some labor unions that enthusiastically backed President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are now frustrated and angry, fearful it will jeopardize benefits for millions of members.

Union leaders warn that unless the problem is fixed, there could be consequences for Democrats facing re-election next year.

“It makes an untruth out of what the president said — that if you like your insurance, you could keep it,” said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.”
[...]
“We’re concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges,” said David Treanor, director of health care initiatives at the Operating Engineers union.

And by “there could be consequences for Democrats facing re-election next year” they mean “we expect an across-the-board waiver from the law we lobbied for pronto!

One for the “epic backfire” file:

Bob Laszewski, a health care industry consultant, said the real fear among unions is that “a lot of these labor contracts are very expensive, and now employers are going to have an alternative to very expensive labor health benefits.”

“If the workers can get benefits that are as good through Obamacare in the exchanges, then why do you need the union?” Laszewski said.

I’m sure the Dems will desperately try and work out an agreeable “fix” to the problem well before the 2014 elections.

Until then, we’ll close with the obligatory Obama promise:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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