By SHERMAN FREDERICK
Remember when sane people told Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi that the health care scheme called ObamaCare needed more thought, better vetting and bipartisan support?
Reid and Pelosi had none of it. They ignorantly pressed ahead on a partisan basis to enact a law they did not fully understand and never read, and now they can’t admit the horrific unintended consequences it has wrought.
Now, just to square things up, I think President Barack Obama, Reid and Pelosi are The Three Stooges of political leadership, regardless of ObamaCare. It will take decades for America to overcome Reid and Pelosi’s reign of petty partisanship, coupled with the president’s clear failure to move the economy forward and bare incompetence in world affairs.
So, when I say ObamaCare is a disaster in waiting, you don’t need to take my word for it anymore. Take the word of The Three Stooges’ friends and enablers — big unions.
In a scathing letter made public by The Associated Press, the heads of three big American unions dropped to bended knee to beg Reid and Pelosi for amendments to ObamaCare.
D. Taylor of UNITE HERE, James Hoffa of the Teamsters and Joseph Hanson of the food workers union wrote this to their “dear leaders”:
“Dear Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi:
“When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.
“Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stonewall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community — extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.
“Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:
“First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
“Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. … Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will be treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.
“And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.
“We continue to stand behind real health care reform, but the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.”
So, listen up, union members who were told to vote straight-ticket Democrat because health care reform was a slam-dunk good deal. Your union leaders are now saying what critics of ObamaCare warned about from Day One.
ObamaCare will punitively tax and hurt millions of Americans, especially those with “Cadillac” union health care plans. Look who fears ObamaCare now.
Sherman Frederick is former editor of the Tribune-Herald and former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.