Hoffa and Obamacare

October 17, 2013: Hoffa drew headlines when he declared that Obamacare would make union plans "unsustainable." It's another way that bungling by the Hoffa-Hall administration has hurt Teamster healthcare.

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was in Congress, the IBT didn't make sure union plans were fully protected. Healthcare providers and other industries looked after their interests. The IBT and other unions failed to do the same.

Now the labor movement is putting pressure on Obama to make changes with regard to union health plans. As part of that effort, Hoffa signed a letter, along with two other union presidents, saying that union plans would be "unsustainable" under Obamacare.

This flamethrower of a comment has backfired.

Employers have thrown this phrase at Teamster negotiators, as the employers try to bust members' health care or take it over. And many members have become concerned over the viability of union health benefits. Who wants to be in an unsustainable plan?

Benefits under virtually every single Teamster health plan are superior to those offered in the ACA's exchanges. Those are designed to extend health coverage to those who don’t have it, not to replace benefits our union contracts guarantee.

Hoffa should be able to lobby for changes in the ACA without throwing Teamster contract negotiators under the bus and fueling employer attacks on members' health benefits.

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