Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Ad-ing up the cost of health care reform

Last week, labor leaders passed among themselves a set of ads aimed at highlighting their distaste for the current shape of health care legislation. For some reason they don’t like the part where “cadillac” coverage is taxed to pay for everybody else’s coverage.  The missing public option is also a major point of contention.

Since “cadillac” coverage taxes would be a huge financial burden for unions, on Wednesday, a group of unions ran ads in Washington papers.  Mind you, labors leaders hope everyone will think that all they care about is the public option– you know, which helps everyone.  Labor leaders prefer that you ignore their ulterior motives.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Labor groups criticized the Senate Finance Committee’s health-care plan Wednesday as “deeply flawed” for its lack of a government-run option and its tax on expensive health-insurance plans. In ads in major newspapers, unions said a government-run plan is needed to provide competition for big insurers and keep costs down. The unions oppose taxing health-care benefits because they fear the expense will be passed on to members who have forgone higher wages in return for richer health-care packages.

“Unless the bill that goes to the floor of the U.S. Senate makes substantial progress to address the concerns of working men and women, we will oppose it,” said an ad that appeared in the Washington Post and Capitol Hill newspapers.

While the Teamsters say that the lack of a public option will not keep them from supporting the bill (pension fund assistance, anyone?), the AFL-CIO and AFSCME are insistent that the bills change. They’ve done the math. Hence the ads.

Categories: AFL-CIOAFSCMECenter for Union FactsEFACNewsTeamsters