A powerful union and a large corporation have something in common: they both want to be immunized against Obamacare. The United Federation of Teachers (a New York City teachers’ union) and McDonald’s have been temporarily exempted from a key provision of the federal health care reform law that would have required them to cancel their current employee health care plans.
They join a number of other unions and companies that are learning Congress didn’t keep President Obama’s promise from 2009 that everyone who is happy with their health insurance would be able to keep it. In late September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted one-year waivers to 30 unions, businesses and insurance companies with a combined total of more than 1 million workers. These groups warned that mandates within the new law would result in higher premiums or a complete loss of coverage for their employees. No one knows if Health and Human Services will continue to exempt employers, which raises uncertainty about who will be forced to leave health insurance plans that have been working for them.
The real kicker is the teachers’ union fought for the health care bill and proudly claimed in April that it wouldn’t harm the union’s health insurance options. Now they are one of the first groups to ask for a waiver. Even Obamacare’s staunchest supporters have discovered the law is bad medicine for America.
The Goldwater Institute is working to free all Americans from the unconstitutional mandates in the federal health care bill. While individuals don’t have the luxury of obtaining waivers, Arizonans have the opportunity to pass Proposition 106 in the Nov. 2 general election and say no to some of the worst aspects of government-run health care.
Christina Kohn is a staff member with the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.
Goldwater Institute: Coons v. Geithner
Goldwater Institute: Questions and Answers about the Health Care Freedom Act
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Approved Applications for Waiver of the Annual Limits Requirements