Employment Law Report
Major Unions Join the Chorus Seeking Changes to the Affordable Care Act
According to the Wall Street Journal, three major unions, Teamsters, UFCW and UNITE-HERE, have written a letter to Senate Majority, Leader Harry Reid, and Democratic Leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, complaining:
“Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated ‘December 31, 2013’ deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.”
More, specifically, they complain that the ACA creates an incentive for employers to keep employee work hours below 30 per week in order to avoid any obligation to provide health care coverage. Next, they point out that under Taft-Hartley plans such as many of their members have, they will not be eligible for all the benefits that other employees will receive who are covered under lesser plans. Finally, employees covered by so-called Cadillac plans will be taxed to pay for subsidies other employees receive, according to the letter.
Whether this approach will produce results remains to be seen.