Virtually unnoticed and ignored by the media is the fact that big labor benefited tremendously from the deal struck last week to avoid the “catastrophic” fiscal cliff. The President abandoned his own concept of fairness, which of course is nothing more than a hypocritical one way street, in order to reward his big labor buddies and to ease the pressure they have asserted. As discussed in Promises, Promises: Desperate Unions Grow Weary of Phony Distractions, the President clearly understood the displeasure of big labor with respect to Obamacare, and realized that he desperately needed to throw them a bone, and a big one at that!
In his own inimitable way, the President did so at the expense of roughly 89% of the workers across this great country who are not members of unions. With this gift, President Obama’s Ego Continues to Trample American Freedoms as he places the burden of the cost of Obamacare on the everyday working person and on small business. Additionally, it provides big labor with the money to continue to inflict Death by a Thousand Cuts and Corporate Campaign tactics on businesses. This is all part of the plan concocted by big labor and the Obama Administration to force unionize employees, as discussed in The Devil at Our Doorstep, and to continue to control political agendas with excessive political donations and massive ground games. It also provides big labor with an unfair advantage to attract potential members with misleading information during collective bargaining negotiations.
Surprise! Unions Get Their Way on Obamacare… In the deal the President struck with Republicans, unions were made exempt from paying what is referred to as a “Transitional Reinsurance Fee,” a $63 tax assessed on nearly every health insurance plan enrollee for the next three years. The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) established programs to provide payments to health insurance issuers that cover higher-risk populations and to more evenly spread the financial risk carried by issuers. These programs, which will be effective in 2014, include the Transitional Reinsurance Program.
The Transitional Reinsurance Program is intended to help stabilize premiums for coverage in the individual market during the first three years of the exchange operation (2014 through 2016) when individuals with higher-cost medical needs gain insurance coverage. This program will impose a fee on health insurance issuers and self-insured group health plans. ACA requires health insurance issuers and third-party administrators (TPA’s) of self-insured group health plans to pay fees to support the reinsurance program. The proposed regulations clarify that, for self-insured group health plans, the plan sponsor is liable for paying the reinsurance fees. In essence, unions and businesses both would have had to pay the fee under the program, but unions have now been given an exemption, providing them with huge cost savings.
The fee is based on the number of members actually enrolled in the medical plan, such membership consisting of employees, their spouses and dependent children covered by the medical plan. As an example, the SEIU, with approximately 2 million members, can expect to save BIG! Assuming that 60% of the membership is enrolled in a union-sponsored health plan, you would have 1.2 million members, plus their eligible family members, estimated at an additional 2.5 covered persons (per member), making the SEIU’s total membership eligible for the reinsurance tax roughly 3 million. Multiply that 3 million, by the $63 per member reinsurance fee, and the initial benefit seen by the SEIU is in the neighborhood of $189 million! Spread that over three years, assuming that the President extends it after next year’s midterm elections, and the total cost savings to the SEIU is $567 million!
It doesn’t seem fair that a President who preaches on the redistribution of wealth to the poor and middle class is, in fact, redistributing $567 million to this labor union — An organization which has historically been shown to utilize that money to force unionize hard-working Americans, and to press its socialistic political agenda at the expense of the middle class the President pretends to support. President Obama, who understands the basic tenant of Control Business, Control the Country, is fully behind the push to provide big labor with ultimate power over employees and businesses, after all it was big labor who enabled him to win a second term.
David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.