Thursday, May 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, February 2, 2014
LIUNA, UniteHere 'Bitterly Disappointed' With Obamacare
By News Release @ 11:03 PM :: 5187 Views :: Health Care, Labor

January 27, 2014

The Honorable Harry Reid,Majority Leader,United States Senate,Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi,Minority Leader,United States House of Representatives,Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leaders Reid and Pelosi:

Recently Secretary of Labor Tom Perez sent a letter to some Members of Congress regarding the proposed "excepted benefits" regulations issued on December 20, 2013 by the Labor Department, Health and Human Services and Treasury under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).That letter has been construed by some to suggest that the very serious concerns of "Taft-Hartley" multi-employer health and welfare trust funds and other non-profit self-funded plans with the ACA have been addressed. This is simply not true regardless of the Secretary's good intentions.

The concerns of more than one million members that we collectively represent, their families,our health and welfare funds, and the employers we work with have not been addressed by these or any other ACA regulations. Neither the "excepted benefits" regulations nor the December 2, 2013 HHS regulations regarding the transitional reinsurance contribution (the"belly button tax") provide a solution to the problems of our not-for-profit plans imposed by the ACA. Few, if any, of our joint labor-management trust funds will realize any benefit from the regulations as proposed.

The ACA, as implemented, undermines fair marketplace competition in the health care industry.Health and welfare trust funds that have provided comprehensive medical coverage to millions of people for generations will be forced to unfairly subsidize giant commercial insurers already slated to receive a trillion dollars in government subsidies over the next ten years. The temptation for employers to drop coverage that we were promised we could keep will be overwhelming. Nothing to date addresses this fundamental inequity in the ACA.

The ACA also unbalances competition in the construction, hospitality and dozens of other industries. The law imposes new costs and mandates on employer sponsors of health and welfare trust funds, but leaves irresponsible companies free of any obligation to contribute towards their employees' health insurance. While responsible employers struggle to provide unsubsidized benefits, other employers will send workers and their families to the Health Exchanges for government subsidized coverage or government-paid Medicaid coverage, avoiding financial responsibility. With most employers in the construction industry employing fewer than 50 workers, many of them will even avoid the "free rider penalty" applicable to "large employers."

Once we realized the ACA would not let us keep the health care we had, we spent three years presenting the Administration with reasonable fixes to the ACA's problems. All of them were rejected and the proposed regulations offer virtually no assistance toward any of these solutions.

We were bitterly disappointed upon reading the proposed regulations put forward by the Administration. If the Administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care. We have examined various health exchanges and should members be forced to purchase insurance on an exchange, their
out of pocket costs are likely to be significant, reaching into the thousands of dollars even if they are eligible for a subsidy under the act. it would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers.

We appreciate all of your efforts on this important issue, and would be pleased to discuss this perspective with you.


Terry O'Sullivan, General President, LIUNA

D. Taylor, General President, UniteHere

  *   *   *   *   *

WaPo: Labor union officials say Obama betrayed them in health-care rollout


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii