The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the largest
construction union in the AFL-CIO, has launched a full scale campaign to
persuade the President and Congress to correct problems in the new
healthcare bill which the union claims will seriously hurt its members.
The IBEW campaign includes:
An article on its website (reprinted below);
A full page advertisement which appeared in several newspapers;
A ‘White Paper’;
A short video by IBEW International President Ed Hill.
The IBEW White Paper quotes President Obama’s July 16, 2009 statement:
“And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep
this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your
doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to
keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter
what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple
principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.”
IBEW Tells Capitol Hill: ‘Let us Keep Our Healthcare’
July 11, 2013
Electrical workers are raising the alarm about loopholes in the Affordable
Care Act that threaten to undermine quality coverage for more than 26
A new white paper from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
lays out provisions in the law that put multiemployer health plans at
For more than 65 years, multiemployer plans have provided affordable,
quality coverage for American workers. Found in nearly every industry, the
plans allow small businesses to team up with other employers to pool risk
and reduce costs in order to provide high-quality health care for workers.
But despite President Obama’s promise during the health care debate that
Americans could keep their current health care plan, the law would end up
forcing millions out of multiemployer plans because small businesses are
exempted from the tax on employees that do not provide health benefits
under the law.
“The IBEW is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act because the
goal of making sure every American has access to quality and affordable
health coverage has been a legislative priority for the IBEW since our
founding,” says Hill. “But our members and allies employers have worked
hard for the healthcare they have, and Obama must move now to guarantee
that his signature law will not cost them their coverage.”
The problem is that the ACA’s definition of a small business – one that
employs fewer than 50 employees – exempts large parts of the American
economy from the health care mandate. For example, approximately 90
percent of construction contractors employ less than 50 workers, which
gives low-road companies in construction and other industries an incentive
to not provide their employees’ health care, putting additional pressure
on employers that do.
Workers who are not covered are eligible for a federal subsidy to purchase
their own health care – an option not available to employees covered by
“Businesses that did the right thing all along will be punished while
employers who helped contribute to the health care crisis will be
rewarded,” says IBEW President Edwin D. Hill. “It goes against the whole
spirit of the legislation to begin with.”
The IBEW are calling on the Obama administration to make regulatory
changes so workers covered by multiemployer plans are eligible for federal
subsidies – just like workers covered by for-profit plans.
“It is a question of fairness,” says Hill. “Multiemployer plans are
genuine health care success stories and they deserve the same federal
support private insurance companies get.”
Hill is also calling on Congress to amend the Affordable Care Act by
lowering the employee threshold to level the playing field in industries
dominated by companies with less than 50 workers.
Click here to read the white paper.
And click here to see the IBEW’s ad currently running in multiple
Washington, D.C., publications.
There is also a 3 minute video of IBEW President Ed Hill speaking on the
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551
- AFL-CIO Reaffirms Commitment to Single Payer–Demands Fixes to ACA
- Resolution 54: AFL-CIO Convention Resolution on the Affordable Care Act
- Kentucky IBEW Local 369 Endorses HR 676, National Single Payer Health Care
- IBEW International Convention Endorses Single Payer
- CLUW 2011 Convention calls for mobilization for HR 676, national single payer health care