05.03.2011 0

ObamaCare for Thee But Not for Me

By Kevin Mooney – When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) floated an amendment earlier this year that would effectively repeal ObamaCare, formally called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, union operatives offered up a forceful defense of the legislation. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) led the charge.

“A vote in support of this amendment is a vote to raise out-of-pocket healthcare costs for working families and takes away critical consumer protections provided to Americans for the first time,” SEIU declared in an email to U.S. Senators.

There is no escaping the intense level of support organized labor threw behind the federal government’s takeover of health care and the Democratic lawmakers who pushed the bill.

But after unions positioned themselves as the great champions of working families and average Americans, those same union officials have suddenly discovered the legislation is a wee bit too expensive for their own programs.

Even as they continue to express enthusiasm for ObamaCare, unions have sought and received waiver protections from those same “consumer protection” provisions that McConnell’s amendment jeopardized.

Earlier this month, Team Obama released an updated list of waiver requests — a total of 1,168 plans, covering 2,934,927 individuals, received exemptions from the law’s supposed “consumer protections.” Furthermore, almost half of the individuals in plans receiving waivers participated in union multiemployer plans.

In addition, the Administration also released a report providing an update on the $5 billion early retiree reinsurance program, including a detailed list of recipients. The largest recipient of the $1.8 billion disbursed thus far was the United Auto Workers, which received nearly $207 million, or more than 10 percent of the overall total. Other notable recipients here include public employee unions like CALPERS ($57.8 million) and the Screen Actors Guild ($1.3 million).

“This is not the first time that the Obama administration has used taxpayer dollars as a slush fund to take care of his politically savvy supporters and unions,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government.

Wilson explained, “ERRP is a glimpse into the future of ObamaCare with funding for the program on pace to run out twice as fast as planned. ObamaCare is nothing more than a future debt bomb sold as a low-cost alternative. The waivers for its labor union supporters are just one obvious example of Obama’s hypocrisy where the unions who support him get exempted from the oppressive costs that average American have been asked to absorb.”

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinMooneyDC.

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