POLITICS

Get the pen out: Unions step up ObamaCare attacks

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
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GET THE PEN OUT: UNIONS STEP UP OBAMACARE ATTACKS
One of the most powerful Democratic interest groups is demanding that President Obama get out his pen again for another big change to his signature health law. The massive service workers’ union, UNITE HERE, which boasts more than 265,000 members, has issued a scathing study that accuses ObamaCare of worsening “income inequality.” Those are fighting words among Democrats, who have settled on accusing Republicans of fostering income disparity in a bid to hold the Senate this fall. With culinary workers in Las Vegas threatening to shut down the Strip with an ObamaCare-fueled strike, the issue is reaching a boiling point for already-divided Democrats. Big labor’s complaint about the law relates to targeted taxes that penalize benefits plans that provide “Cadillac” health coverage. Such benefits are the key selling point for many unions. ObamaCare poses a major threat to already flagging private-sector union membership. The report reads like a ransom not to the president and vulnerable Democrats, deliver another carve out or face the wrath of the groups that fund and provide foot-soldiers for Democrats: “Having already made efforts to accommodate businesses, churches and congressional staff, it is ironic that the administration is now highlighting issues of economic inequality without acting to preserve health plans that have been achieving the goals of the ACA for decades.”

Pay cut - Washington Examiner: “[The union] warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. ‘If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage.’’’

THREE HOTS, A COT AND OBAMACARE FOR PRISONERS
NYT: “…jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population… Although Medicaid does not cover standard health care for inmates, it can pay for their hospital stays beyond 24 hours – meaning states can transfer millions of dollars of obligations to the federal government. But the most important benefit of the program, corrections officials say, is that inmates who are enrolled in Medicaid while in jail or prison can have coverage after they get out. People coming out of jail or prison have disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases, especially mental illness and addictive disorders. Few, however, have insurance, and many would qualify for Medicaid under the income test for the program — 138 percent of the poverty line — in the 25 states that have elected to expand their programs. Health care experts estimate that up to 35 percent of those newly eligible for Medicaid under Mr. Obama’s health care law are people with histories of criminal justice system involvement, including jail and prison inmates and those on parole or probation.”

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