AFL-CIO Convention Calls for Fixes in Affordable Care Act

AFL-CIO Convention Calls for Fixes in Affordable Care Act Delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention this afternoon passed a resolution expressing support for the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but also addressing a number of issues about the ACA’s implementation, including the way the ACA treats multi-employer health care plans. The resolution reiterates that the labor movement’s ultimate health care goal is health care for everyone under a single-payer model.

The resolution calls for preservation of high-quality coverage under multi-employer plans. It also calls for greater employer responsibility, especially in regards to part-time workers. Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), said the resolution, “Points out the key facts that must be addressed by the administration and if needed, by Congress.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the issues raised by the resolution ones of “fundamental fairness,” including if low- and moderate-income union members and their collectively bargained health care plans will be able to benefit from the same premium support that big insurance companies will receive and if they will have to pay fees to subsidize big insurance companies. There also are concerns that smaller employers will be able to get away with taking health care away from workers while paying no penalty.

Trumka did tell the delegates that “the labor movement is engaged in ongoing dialogue with a number of government agencies regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act—especially the way it treats collectively bargained multi-employer funds.”

UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.