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First Union Officially Calls for Obamacare Repeal


The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers yesterday became the first union to reverse its support for Obamacare. It once backed the Affordable Care Act and campaigned vigorously for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but growing concerns over the cost and availability of insurance under ACA have lead the union to call for the law’s repeal. WSJ:

“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. […]

Over time, Mr. Robinson says, his optimism that regulators or lawmakers would address the union’s concerns diminished. “I don’t think they are going to get fixed,” he said.

One of the concerns for the union is the cap on “lifetime medical bill payouts.” Currently, the roofers’ plan guarantees that active members won’t pay more than $2 million over the course of their lives for medical bills (it’s $50,000 for retired members). The ACA mandates that plans remove these caps. It also requires that all plans offer minimum benefits, and the union’s coverage would have to become more expensive to fulfill that requirement. Pile on a new fee charged to every enrollee and an excise tax that will hit some plans in 2018, and you have a union running for the hills as fast as it can.

The roofers’ union dramatic reversal points to the problems with the pass first, ask questions later approach to the law’s passage. Now that people are starting to ask questions, they aren’t liking the answers. If other unions follow the roofers’ lead, the Democratic Party could have a very rough few years ahead of it.

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  • ojfl

    If more unions follow suit the repeal of the law is all but guaranteed. The president may not want to sign the repeal into law but politicians, over reliant on union contributions for their campaign, will have a significant incentive to comply. Of course the unions will never support the Republicans but if they stay home or deny or reduce their financial support trouble in the sky.

    • LivingRock

      I think as long as healthcare remains an issue in need of reform, which I don’t see how it doesn’t, and as long as the Obama administration and supporters of the ACA can say it doesn’t go into full effect until 2018, then I don’t see the President repealing his own legislative cornerstone during his tenure.

      To me the only way the law gets repealed is if there is a viable and credible alternative. I’m not a fan of Obamacare, but it would be nice if someone, like say the Republicans, actually came up with a large enough reform policy to supplant the ACA.

      • ojfl

        Indeed LivingRock, that would be good.

  • Corlyss Drinkard

    Tomorrow’s story, on p. A-32 of the NYT:
    Roofers Union president vanishes from suburban home after SEIU knee-cappers from Chicago were seen cruising the neighborhood.

  • Jim Luebke

    GOP’s core message for the next few years… “Is it justice for people who’ve worked for their money to lose it, for the sake of people who didn’t work for it?”

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