The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Public, Union Support for the ACA Plummeting

obamacare

Here’s a huge blow to the ACA: even now, after the full court publicity press for the Obamacare has started in earnest, public opinion continues to swing against the law. In January, 44 percent of Americans opposed Obamacare and 51 percent supported it. Today, Politico reports that 57 percent oppose and 39 percent favor.

At the same time, the NYT is reporting that unions are becoming increasingly vocal in expressing their concerns about the ACA. Labor leaders reportedly promised President Obama last month that they would tone down the anti-ACA rhetoric at the recent AFL-CIO conference, but the anger slipped out anyway:

“If the Affordable Care Act is not fixed and it destroys the health and welfare funds that we have fought for and stand for, then I believe it needs to be repealed,” said Terence M. O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “We don’t want it to be repealed. We want it to be fixed, fixed, fixed.

“We’ve had our asses kicked on retirement security and we know our health funds are under siege,” he added. “We ask the president and Congress to do the right thing for the men and women we represent.”

With the unions, Obama is in a difficult position. If he gives into their central request—expanding subsidies to apply to special union plans—the law will cost a lot more (as much as $187 billion, some calculate). Adding that much to the ACA’s bill probably isn’t the wisest thing to do when overall public support is already in free fall. Then again, if the President doesn’t expand the subsidies, the unions will likely become even more vocal in their opposition, which would also be a PR disaster for the White House.

This is one of the many implementation challenges that Obamacare still faces, and the administration is rapidly running out of time to fix them.

Published on September 12, 2013 1:30 pm
  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Obama is in free fall, Obamacare is in free fall, where is the political will to spend $187 Billion more on Obamacare going to come from? Conservatives are actively working to get rid of Obamacare, and if the Labor gangs throw them their support, they will succeed.
    Blue model programs like socialized medicine, are much more inefficient than the private sector.

  • Frank Cioffi

    Don’t do it just for the unions, do it for EVERYBODY!!!

    • MichaelKennedy

      They a way to prove who voted for Obama. Then they could exempt all of them. That would leave just Republicans in te exchanges. That should work.

  • Rick Caird

    Obama is afraid to open up the legislation to changes. That is why he said he would veto any legislation that would allow him to grant a waiver to the black letter law of the employer mandate. I suspect his recalcitrance will lead to the loss of the Senate in 2014 and a prolonged fight as ObamaCare becomes even more obviously fatally flawed.

  • Misanthrope

    Shorter Union: We don’t want it repealed, we want more special treatment.

  • Banned_by_KBTX

    Waithing for the usual suspects to show up claiming (a) ObamaCare is a roaring success and (b) it is all the GOP’s fault ObamaCare is failing.

  • George Purcell

    This is why passing such major legislation without at least some serious public comment and reaction is such a terrible idea.

  • mikekelley10

    Unions are just pretending to care about their members now that it is obvious this thing is a disaster. They were behind the Democrats all the way when they hatched Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

  • teapartydoc

    Many of the same people who campaigned for Obama just a short time ago are now being laid off or given fewer working hours precisely because his signature legislation has raised the cost of having an employee without there being any rising economic tide to blunt the effect. The giant mega-university health system I work for is laying off, buying out, or reorganizing the jobs of thousands of it’s employees, and much of the way it was set up was to be a player in the ACO (accountable care organization) race. It turns out that this wasn’t the kind of race anyone should have wanted to be in. Tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars were thrown away by my organization and hundreds of others around the country for something that isn’t even going to happen, just like Y2K. The money was never going to be there. The modest Republican reform proposals of six years ago could be looked upon with wistful regret for not having implemented them, but no one even knows what they were, because the mainstream press wouldn’t even talk about them, saying instead that the Republicans didn’t have a plan.

  • koblog

    Bwahahahahaha

  • koblog

    What do we expect from a 2500 page law that its “writers” didn’t even read, and is mostly left to statements like “as the secretary shall determine….”?