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.