Imagine the following scene:
A handful of union bosses crowd around a card table, punching numbers into their calculators. They’ve been up all night. Someone puts on another pot of coffee and a few of the older bosses are starting to fall asleep. Those who are still alert and active scratch their heads and re-enter their calculations.
“Oh, my gosh!” one of them concludes at the end of the all-night exercise. “‘Obamacare’ is going to cost us!”
Yes, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, union leaders (i.e. the same people who campaigned tirelessly in favor of universal healthcare) are trying to figure out a way to avoid paying for the costs associated with “Obamacare.”
From the WSJ:
Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.
Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.
To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.
In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans.
As financial reality sets in, and rather than figure out a way to pay for the bill they helped pass, unions are trying to see if Washington will bail them out.