Obamacare Blasted by Uber-Lefty Union Unite Here in "Internal" Report

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently made headlines when he blasted the infamous Koch brothers as "un-American" for bankrolling anti-Obamacare ads that have kept fact-checkers in clover debunking them.

But criticism of the Affordable Care Act comes not just from the far-right Koch brothers

It comes from the left as well, including from the union Unite Here, which according to its website represents "workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries."

Last week, Nevada newshound Jon Ralston made public the previously unpublished Unite Here report, "The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse."

The study blasts Obamacare for a "trillion dollar transfer of wealth" to insurance companies, as employers cut their employees' hours and pay, and union-based health plans are "strangled" into non-existence.

Conservative sites have gone wild with the UH publication, while traditional defenders of Obamacare have been slow to respond.

Via email, Ralston would not discuss his source for the report. But he explained that it was sent by Unite Here to fellow labor leaders with a cover letter by UH president Don Taylor, also posted on the Ralston Reports blog.

The journalist uploaded both documents to his site on March 7. Since then, the story's gone viral -- at least on the right -- and has been picked up by FrontPage Mag, National Review Online, and Fox News, among other conservative outlets.

"I'm not surprised at all that conservatives are all over every negative thing this union does on Obamacare," Ralston wrote in response to my inquiry. "It gives them fodder to say all criticism is not partisan."

Unite Here spokeswoman Annemarie Strassel confirmed that the report was legit.

"It was an internal document, which is why it's not posted on our site," she stated in an e-mail earlier today, "but I can verify that it is ours."

She said the union would be posting the report to its own site sometime today, "given the wide distribution" it's already received.

(As this blog went to press, Strassel sent me a link to the report, just published on the UH site.)

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6 comments
Alex Johns
Alex Johns

Obamacare should be blasted from all sides. Because it sucks.

lwoodmansee
lwoodmansee

Employers have long been cutting hours and hiring only part time workers in order to avoid providing benefits, this is especially true hospitality, food service, and retail.  That is not new and has been around long before ACA.  At least with 'Obamacare' people can afford to buy insurance even if their employer or more appropriately employers (most people in the industries listed above have to work 2 jobs to support themselves) don't provide that option.  Prior to the ACA, someone who say had cancer could not afford to buy health insurance because their prior condition caused insurance companies to up the price exorbitantly.  Now they can buy insurance even if they work part time.


One reason hospitals charge what they do is to cover the expenses for the uninsured...not smokers and obesity as everyone believes.  I know because I've worked in that industry for over 20 years.  Insurance companies are now being held to task for why they were insurance companies in the first place...to help cover healthcare costs. 


Health insurance is a huge commodity on the stock market as well which I find to be the biggest issue.  Stockholders dictating business dealings in the healthcare industry should be considered an oxymoron.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

Perhaps a new memo but this is very old news. Some unions have been weary of ACA since day one.  Healthcare was one of the unions biggest bargaining chips prior to ACA when trying to organize a new workplace.  


Let's not forget. ACA is a republican plan once endorsed by The uber-rightwing Heritage Foundation and championed by Mitt Romney (before he ran from it pretending differently) The progressives have always fought for single payer which will solve most of the problems UNITE HERE is talking about.   

cugagcmu80
cugagcmu80

Awwww, they didn't get their little special-made ponies.  Does Obamacare have flaws?

Sure, it does, but its' flaws can be fixed, if our members of Congress have the political will to do it.


I guess Unite Here's plan is to return to having insurance companies deny us coverage for preexisting conditions, impose unlimited lifetime caps on coverage, and spend the money they don't use on our healthcare on advertising and other "administrative" expenses" instead of returning it to us.

camprrm
camprrm

Calling the Koch brothers "far right" is sloppy journalism.   They are much better identified as, and tend to self-identify as, libertarians.  Those who say that those are the same thing are just demonstrating their ignorance.  For example, the Koch brothers support gay marriage and I believe decriminalization of some illegal drugs, not typically "far right" positions.  

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@camprrm ok, so they are far right libertarians... which is worse in more ways than can be counted


BTW - they might support those things, but they are far right, as per the money they spend and where that goes. For a couple of 'libertarians' they sure don't spend their money there, they give it all to republicans.


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