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Obamacare costs more kids their health care coverage

Posted by Richard on November 30, 2010

Remember "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan"? Long before Obamacare was passed, almost everyone who examined that promise objectively knew that it wouldn't be kept. Since passage, the falseness of that promise — to be precise, the mendacity, since the President isn't stupid enough to have really believed it when he said it — has become increasingly clear, as more and more people have had their coverage canceled, and more and more organizations have requested waivers from the feds.

The waivers exempt the organizations from onerous and costly new government mandates, allowing them to continue existing health care plans that fail to meet those mandates. In the absence of such waivers, millions more would be left without the health care plan they like and were promised they could keep.

Since the Obama administration clearly prefers a government of men to a government of laws, it's no surprise that who gets a waiver and who doesn't is solely at the discretion of some unelected administration lackeys. And it's no surprise that the list of waiver recipients includes quite a few unions. 

But it seems that a New York SEIU affiliate either forgot to file for a waiver or filed and didn't get it. Or maybe they just decided the new mandates were a good excuse to ditch the coverage for children of their low-wage members:

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

The fund is administered by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

The fund informed its members late last month that their dependents will no longer be covered as of Jan. 1, 2011. Currently about 6,000 children are covered by the benefit fund, some until age 23.

The union fund faced a “dramatic shortfall” between what employers contributed to the fund and the premiums charged by its insurance provider, Fidelis Care, according to Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU. The union fund pools contributions from several home-care agencies and then buys insurance from Fidelis.

“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Behroozi estimated that the fund faced a $15 million shortfall in 2011 and more in the following years for the coverage of workers’ children.

The affected union members are home-care workers, and their health-care costs are said to be comparatively high and growing. So the union had already started dumping those workers from their health care plan before Obamacare passed, cutting enrollment in half over the past three years. And now it's lobbying for the state of New York to pick up more of the tab. Unfortunately for them, the state of New York doesn't seem to have a lot of extra money lying around looking for some deserving union to benefit. 

There's a certain poetic justice to seeing the SEIU, Obamacare's biggest supporters, run afoul of the costly mandates they helped bring about. But the rank-and-file members must be wondering what all those union dues they've been paying have gotten them. Why, it's almost as if all that talk about how the union protects them from exploitation by evil capitalists were a load of crap!

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3 Responses to “Obamacare costs more kids their health care coverage”

  1. David Bryant said

    ”Why, it’s almost as if all that talk about how the union protects them from exploitation by evil capitalists were a load of crap!”

    Just a pedantic observation, Richard. Ought not the subjunctive be reserved for those occasions where a statement is contrary to fact? The talk about unions “protecting” anyone from “exploitation” really is a load of crap!

  2. David Bryant said

    Talk about a coincidence! Today (Wednesday, 1 December) [ James Taranto’s column] includes the following little joke.

    ”You just have to laugh at Joe Scarborough, the long-ago (1995-2001) Republican congressman turned MSNBC morning host. We don’t mean because his show, which we never watch, is funny. If it were (OK, to be fair, if it is), we’d be laughing with him.”

    It seems the subjunctive is popping up all over the place this week!

  3. rgcombs said

    David, I deliberately used the subjunctive because I thought that would make my sarcastic intent more obvious. Guess that didn’t work. :-}

    Maybe I should have enclosed it in the appropriate tags, like this:

    Why, it’s almost as if all that talk about how the union protects them from exploitation by evil capitalists were a load of crap!

    Is that better? 🙂

    As for the Taranto quote, his use of the subjunctive is quite correct (and not sarcastic) because Scarborough, judging from what I’ve seen, certainly isn’t funny.

    Of course, if Taranto literally has never seen the show, I suppose saying “if it is” is the fair thing to do. But spending a few minutes watching Scarborough clips on YouTube should remove all doubt about whether the man is funny or not.

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