Trumka: ‘Mistakes’ made in ObamaCare

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Thursday said “mistakes” were made in the writing of ObamaCare.

“It still needs to be tweaked,” said Trumka, who pointed to the possibility that union members will lose their health insurance because of the inability of some union plans to qualify for federal tax subsidies.

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“ObamaCare is a major step in the right direction but yeah, I said, we made some mistakes,” Trumka told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

“We have been working with the administration to find solutions to the inadvertent holes in the act,” Trumka said. “We are working to try solve problems, just like they tried to solve problems with employers, with large business and small business groups.”

He compared labor’s effort to win concessions on the health plans to business’s successful effort to convince the law’s mandate that certain employers offer health insurance for a year.

Labor angst over ObamaCare has grown, with several unions lobbying the administration to fix the law so that union “Taft-Hartley” healthcare plans qualify for tax subsidies. 

Without that change, labor believes their members could lose their health coverage and be forced onto the ObamaCare insurance exchanges, which are set to open this October.

Unions are also worried that the law allows employers to not provide healthcare coverage to workers who work less than 30 hours per week. Trumka said companies could cut down on their employees’ work schedules to avoid providing health benefits.

“So that’s something that needs to be addressed. Is that an issue? Yeah, that’s an issue,” Trumka said.