Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Labor Stiffens Spine

An agreement to tax high-cost, employer-sponsored health insurance plans,
announced with fanfare by the White House and labor unions last month, is losing
support from labor leaders, who say the proposal is too high a price to pay for
the limited health care package they expect to emerge from Congress.

Why this change of heart? Well the administration and Senate's inability to deliver on anything of substance for labor in the last year is a driving factor. EFCA withered on the vine as health care reform stalled. Craig Becker's nomination to the National Labor Relations Board went down in the Senate and the administration immediately pledged not to appoint Becker via a recess appointment.
As Harold Meyerson noted last week in The Washington Post labor's interests have inexplicably fallen by the way-side in the last year. After an incredible effort by labor in 2006 and 2008 it's hardly surprising to see them withdrawing support. Democrats always seem surprised and offended when interest groups behave like, well, interest groups. They shouldn't be.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Or, perhaps, labor leaders figured out that expensive health care plans don't actually track general affluence the way most benefits do.

T.R. Donoghue said...

Absolutely, they've objected to the excise tax since the beginning but they had agreed to deal on the issue. Something has changed their minds.