- Posted September 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Unions to Administration: Fix It Or We Walk
Unions under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO brought the troops out in droves to vote for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Those unions also poured tons of money into the coffers of Democrats to win and keep their seats. Those same unions are now crying "foul" over provisions within the Affordable Care Act, which are perceived to be a threat to health care benefits won and contractualized with companies big and small.
On Wednesday, union leaders meeting in Los Angeles voted and passed a resolution demanding the Administration "fix" the offending provisions in the ACA. If no "fix" is made, union leaders threatened to strike come 2016.
Joseph Nigro, president of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation union, put it this way, “You allow an ACA bill to go through like this, I guarantee you by your next convention four years from now, you won’t meet a quarter of this room. We won’t be here."
This does not bode well for Democrats during the next presidential election. If unions sit out the race, whoever the Democratic candidate may find it difficult if not impossible to keep the White House.
At issue is provisions that deal with multiemployer health plans, the 40-hour work week and a variety of fees and taxes incorporated in the signature domestic legislation of the President. Already, employees across the nation have seen their hours capped at 29 to avert employers being subjected to providing health care benefits to employees working 30 hours or more per week if the business employs at least 50 people.
The ACA is already rolling out with delays and difficulties. Some of the provisions have been put off until 2015 rather than implementation as required in 2014. Waivers have been issued in abundance by the Administration to various provisions of the law. Health care exchanges in each state are to be up and running by October 1. It is unclear how fully ready these exchanges will be or if the exchanges will be able to meet the goals of signing up enough of the nation's uninsured to support the program.
When one of the strongest backers of the President is not happy, it doesn't bode well. Now that the AFL-CIO, which helped in getting the law passed, is now campaigning to have the law fixed, it only highlights the concern being raised not only by Republican lawmakers and Tea Party members, but Democrats in the Congress of the ACA's glaring flaws.
From the Cornfield, I have never been fond of the ACA and have stated such many times prior to the Supreme Court ruling last year that the law is constitutional as a taxing instrument. The closer the nation gets to implementation of the full benefits and drawbacks of the law, I, like Senator Mike Baucus who was the primary author of the ACA, see a train wreck ahead.
The unions are decrying the loss of health care benefits which were fought for in contract negotiations which may now end up on the trash heap. It is understandable their ire and frustration. Contracts should be upheld, however, those contracts are now subject to being negated by a badly written, poorly understood and still not fleshed out law.