Organized Labor Bosses ‘Own’ ObamaCare

Scheme Injurious For Millions of Unionized Workers, Retirees

(Source: April 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)

Last month, the Big Labor Congress gave final approval to, and President Barack Obama signed into law, what is surely the greatest expansion of federal government power over consumers, employees and businesses since last century’s Great Depression.

And, even more than Mr. Obama, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), or any other elected official, top Big Labor bosses are responsible for Congress’s reconstruction of America’s enormous health-care system.

On March 22, the day after the House rubber-stamped both H.R.3590, the version of ObamaCare Mr. Reid had rammed through the Senate early Christmas Eve morning, 2009, and a “fixer” bill (H.R.4872) amending the Senate measure, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) demonstrated how it all happened.

“Supporters of both measures received out-sized support from labor unions,” concluded the CRP’s Michael Beckel in his legislative wrap-up.

He went on to specify that, since 1989: “Members who voted for both bills received an average of about $917,500” in reported contributions alone from labor union bosses.

Furthermore, in “the final push for a vote,” many union bosses and union operatives “also displayed their clout through threats to withhold endorsements from lawmakers who failed to back the bill. They also vowed to support primary challenges or third-party bids against incumbents who opposed the bills.”

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Doug Stafford commented: “Since 1989, Big Labor has contributed a total of $160 million more, in cash alone, to ObamaCare proponents than to ObamaCare opponents.

“In contrast, health-focused industries gave roughly $100 million to ObamaCare proponents and roughly $110 million to opponents — a difference of just $10 million.

“And this 16-to-1 edge for pro-ObamaCare politicians doesn’t even take into account their even wider advantage in union bosses’ hidden, forced dues-funded ‘in-kind’ contributions. Organized Labor bosses can truly be said to ‘own’ ObamaCare.”

Verizon Retiree, Right to Work Chairman: ObamaCare Is Already Hurting Me

Why did union bigwigs spend so much of their PAC and forced-dues money, and twist so many politicians’ arms, to get ObamaCare enacted?

Certainly not because most unionized workers will benefit.

As has been widely reported, under ObamaCare as ultimately enacted, a disproportionately large share of unionized employees will see their premiums jump up, or their benefits cut back, as a result of the law’s large new excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans.

And unionized firms such as AT&T, Verizon and Caterpillar have already signaled they will very likely drop their prescription-drug coverage for retirees once ObamaCare slashes the tax incentive federal policy has offered them up to now to retain it.

Retirees from such companies will then have no choice but to apply for Medicare drug benefits, which are meager compared to those the retirees currently receive, but far more expensive for taxpayers who will carry the whole freight.

Right to Work Chairman and Verizon retiree Chuck Serio commented: “It appears that the Communications Workers of America union hierarchy to which I paid thousands of dollars in dues and compulsory fees during my 37 years has been instrumental in my coming loss of drug coverage by my former employer.

“Thanks a lot, CWA bosses.” Union Bosses Will Rake In Bailout Money

In reality, union bosses supported ObamaCare both because of their ideological commitment to bigger and bigger government, and because it remained, in all its various incarnations, full of special-interest handouts to Organized Labor.

For example, one little-discussed provision in the ObamaCare law would either exacerbate the horrendous national debt or foist an additional burden on taxpayers by furnishing $10 billion in bailout money for mismanaged union health-benefit funds.

“Union bosses will rake in billions and billions of dollars in bailouts thanks to ObamaCare, but most forced dues-paying workers will get hurt,” said Mr. Stafford. “It’s a horrifying, but instructive illustration of the evils of compulsory unionism.”