The One Chart That Shows Why Even Unions Are Abandoning Obamacare
This administration can’t delay implementation of Obamacare long enough to manage all the bad publicity the law is getting. Now even the labor unions — a core constituency of the Democratic Party — are realizing the looming consequences of the nightmare known as Obamacare and are panicking over the lost benefits, lower wages, and higher premiums that are happening as a result of the law.
While the administration can delay it all they want, public reaction is only going to get worse the more each and every constituency learns how the consequences will affect them, much to the dread of incumbent Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014.
Three of the nation’s largest unions fired off a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), warning that Obamacare would “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.”
“When you and the president sought our support for the Affordable Care Act,” they go on to say, “you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat… We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.”
Indeed, public sector unions spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010. They are the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote machine come every election cycle, getting Democratic office-seekers elected so those lawmakers can kick back more collective bargaining power and infinite benefits at the expense of taxpayers.
Only it’s now coming at the expense of their health care coverage. There’s an old saying: “You get the government you deserve.”
Union bosses are concerned that Obamacare’s employer mandate incentivizes smaller companies to shift their workers to part-time status, because employers are not required to provide health coverage to part-time workers. They’re right. “We have a problem,” they end the letter with, “and you need to fix it.”
This is a trend that has been going on since this administration came to power. For starters, the administration has only expanded the aggressive regulatory bureaucracies which are strangling the private sector's potential for any normal to strong economic growth — at a rate even higher than normal bureaucratic regulatory growth.
On top of that, the Obama administration has also been burdening the private sector with numerous added costs, from Obamacare to higher tax rates (from the fiscal cliff deal where lawmakers “balanced” $620 billion in higher taxes with merely $15 billion in spending cuts, or $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax hikes). All of this, in turn, is producing a part-time worker society, where businesses have to cut hours of their workers to avoid the stipulations of Obamacare forcing employers to provide health care coverage to all full-time employees. That, in turn, is either dumping millions of workers into the government-run health care exchanges (thereby making millions more Americans dependent on government for yet one more core service) or forcing them to pay the IRS-enforced tax — or “penalty” — for not buying health care coverage stipulated in the individual mandate.
It’s win-win for the feds: either they control your health care decisions, or you pay them to get out of it.
Meanwhile, Kelly Services (a temp agency that places part-time workers into jobs) is now the second biggest employer in America, behind only Walmart. Health insurance premiums have only gone up, not down (contrary to what President Obama promised), countless Americans from spouses to unions have learned they’re losing their health plans (also contrary to what President Obama promised), and the projected costs of implementing Obamacare keep multiplying ever year as well.
It’s no wonder then that disapproval of Obamacare has now hit a fresh two-and-a-half-year high, according to the latest Real Clear Politics average.
It’s also no mystery why the administration delayed implementation yet again to 2015: to protect vulnerable Democrats from losing their seats next year if the public really learns too fast about everything that will affect them as a result of the law. But the administration’s political calculations may prove to be futile anyway, as even statistician guru Nate Silver of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog concludes that control of the Senate is now a complete tossup with eight incumbent Democratic seats legitimately within the GOP’s reach: West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alaska and Iowa.