AFL-CIO President: ObamaCare “still needs to be tweaked”

Richard Trumka

Add Richard Trumka to the names of labor leaders who want Congress to revisit healthcare reform. The AFL-CIO president told reporters on Thursday that “mistakes” were made when Congress drafted ObamaCare and said that the law needs to be “tweaked”:

“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.

“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.”

Labor leaders have expressed concern about ObamaCare for various reasons. Just last month, James Hoffa of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen of the UFCW, and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging them to fix the law to save union health insurance plans.

The labor leaders also expressed frustration over ObamaCare’s employer mandate, which they said will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The Nevada chapter of the AFL-CIO passed a resolution slamming ObamaCare, calling on Congress to pass a fix for union health insurance plans.

“[T]he Congress and the Administration have demonstrated they have the authority and power to make dozens of other corrections to [ObamaCare], including taking care of big business and well-paid Congressional staff members, but have yet to provide our unions with any relief to allow our healthcare plans to continue as they have for over 65 years,” said the Nevada AFL-CIO in the resolution, referencing the employer mandate delay and the recent fix sparing Congress from higher health insurance premiums.

Despite the warnings about ObamaCare from both labor and Republicans in Congress, the Obama Administration insists that the law will be beneficial to Americans, despite several delays in implementation and evidence of higher health insurance premiums.

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