Former Obamacare backers turn against healthcare law as its costs explode

Former Obamacare backers turn against healthcare law as its costs explode

Dr  ObamaA union that once supported passage of Obamacare is now calling for its repeal. The Wall Street Journal reports that the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers has turned against the deeply-flawed health care law in response to its ever-growing financial burdens, which menace some employee health plans’ continued existence:

Organized labor … recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans

“After the law was passed, I had great hope…that maybe the rough spots would be worked out and we’d have a great law,” said Kinsey Robinson, international president of the union, which represents 22,000 commercial and industrial roofers… Mr. Robinson says the union’s concerns about the law began to pile up in recent months after speaking with employers.

The roofers’ union’s current insurance plan caps lifetime medical bill payouts at $2 million for active members and $50,000 for retirees. Next year, the plan has to remove those caps in order to comply with the health law… that will increase the cost of insuring members, Mr. Robinson said, and has prompted the union to weigh eliminating the retiree plan.

Adding to those cost concerns is a new $63-per-enrollee fee on health plans that pays insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions next year. Looking ahead to 2018, when the law levies an excise tax on high-value insurance plans, Mr. Robinson predicts that at least some of the union’s plans will get hit by it… On Tuesday, the union called for a repeal of the health law or a complete reform of it.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who helped write Obamacare and is up for re-election in 2014, now says he’s worried about a “huge train wreck coming” when the Obama Administration begins fully implementing the health care law later this year. Baucus “sharply criticized the administration’s outreach efforts in a budget hearing on Wednesday. He told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that people and businesses ‘have no idea what to do, what to expect’ from the law.” His colleague, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., now admits the health care law is so unprecedentedly complicated as to be “just beyond comprehension” (alas, his inability to understand it didn’t keep him from voting to pass it).

Obamacare is stifling job creation and will harm life-saving medical innovation. Some employers have stopped hiring because of Obamacare, and others are cutting full-time workers and replacing them with part-time workers to avoid Obamacare mandates that apply to full-time employees. Obamacare caused layoffs in the medical device industry through what even a liberal Senator conceded was a “job-killing tax” that will “impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.” Obamacare will cut employment by an additional 800,000 because of work disincentives and bizarre income-cliffs.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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