As public opposition to the so-called Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as ObamaCare, continues to mount, union officials are loudly decrying the signature legislative achievement of the President they played a critical role in electing in 2008 and re-electing in 2012.
The latest example is a January 27 letter, jointly written by two officials of large international unions, bemoaning the fact that under ObamaCare rank-and-file unionized workers will not be able to “keep the health care we had,” as well as the fact that many of the workers who will effectively “be forced to purchase insurance” through health exchanges created by the law will see large rises in their out-of-pocket costs, “reaching into thousands of dollars even if they are eligible for a subsidy . . . .” (Union Chiefs ‘Bitterly Disappointed’ With Obamacare … – WSJ Blogs.)
The open letter from Unite Here union honcho Donald “D” Taylor and Labors International Union of North America (LIUNA) kingpin Terry O’Sullivan is addressed to Democratic congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
The two union bosses call for radical changes in ObamaCare, which as it is currently being implemented, they charge, is undermining “fair marketplace competition in the health care industry,” and giving thousands and thousands of employers an “overwhelming” incentive to “drop coverage that we were promised we could keep.”
Clearly stating what they think is the likely ultimate impact of ObamaCare if it remains on the books without fundamental changes, Taylor and O’Sullivan lament:
It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative achievement of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers.
Along with the vast majority of other officers of major unions, the Unite Here union hierarchy backed ObamaCare to the hilt in 2009 and 2010 and lavishly spent workers’ forced union dues and fees to ensure it would become law. On the other hand, the LIUNA union brass never overtly supported ObamaCare.
However, O’Sullivan and his lieutenants, just like Unite Here union bosses and virtually all of Organized Labor officialdom, did dig deep into their forced dues-fueled union treasuries to get Barack Obama elected President in 2008 and hand him a second four-year term in 2012. In practice, therefore, O’Sullivan and company used workers’ conscripted money to beat back efforts to repeal ObamaCare and guarantee that its implementation would proceed, as it since has, with a vengeance.
Now Taylor and O’Sullivan both admit that the law they backed for years, openly in Taylor’s case and tacitly in O’Sullivan’s, is a disaster for the workers they purport to represent as well as for millions and millions of other Americans.
Yet like other union bosses who have flip-flopped on ObamaCare, Taylor and O’Sullivan continue bitterly to cling to their government-granted power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a job condition, even as they more or less acknowledge that for years they used workers’ forced dues and fees to safeguard a law that is now severely harming those very workers.
Given Taylor’s, O’Sullivan’s, and many other union bosses’ awful track record in defending workers’ interests up to now, why should federal policy continue forcing workers to fork over union dues to them as a job condition?