Top labor union leaders left the White House on September 13 still searching for a fix to a key provision in the new Affordable Care Act that union leaders say will hurt their members healthcare plans.
According to Reuters on Sept. 13, union leaders are calling the new law unfair because it will result in lower-income members who belong to multi-employer healthcare plans, which are more common in the retail, construction and service industries, to not be eligible for subsidies that other low-earning workers would be able to qualify for.
In short, it would essentially create a two-tiered system.
Earlier in the week AFL-CIO members passed a resolution which called for significant changes in the new law. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, which represents 57 member unions representing over 13 million workers, told Reuters after the White House meeting:
We're continuing to work on problem-solving.
Trumka also stated that he is hopeful that discussions between the Obama administration and labor unions would result in solutions.
Terry O'Sullivan, president of the Laborers International Union of North America, told union members in a speech at the union's convention in Los Angeles on Sept. 11:
We don't want it repealed, we want it fixed, fixed, fixed. But if the Affordable Care Act is not fixed ... then I believe it needs to be repealed.
The spat over the Affordable Care Act between the White House and labor unions provides Republicans with even more ammunition for defunding or repealing the law.
The Treasury Department issued a letter shortly after the meeting that confirmed that employees in multi-employer healthcare plans could not be eligible for Obamacare tax credits that would help cover the cost of premiums.