Real Life Consequences: Even labor unions are starting to squirm under Obamacare costs


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may think[1] Obamacare is “beautiful,” but the Democratic congresswoman needs to get in touch with reality. In the real world, employers and labor unions are struggling with how to pay for a surge in costs associated with the health care law. To them, Obamacare is anything but “beautiful.”

According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal[2], employers and labor unions are sparring over who should be responsible for shouldering the higher-cost burden. Things that sound like lofty ideals, like allowing adults up to 26 years old to remain as dependents on their parents’ plans, cost money. One union plan in particular, covers 55,000 workers but includes 120,000 people total, when counting dependents.

Businesses are also forced to take future costs into consideration, like the tax on premium health plans that will go into effect in 2018. All these things will come to a head as tens of thousands of labor contracts come up for renewal over the next few years.

Experts on both sides of the debate say President Obama’s health care law doesn’t acknowledge the fact that unions and employers have been negotiating health care terms for decades. Being forced to rewrite those terms now will inevitably affect wages and other labor conditions.

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Obamacare, it’s that policy agendas have real-life consequences. In the case of President Obama’s health care law, those consequences mean health coverage disruptions, confusion, and increased costs. That may sound “beautiful” to Democrats, but for the rest of America it’s nothing more than living a nightmare. Even early supporters of Obamacare, like unions, are starting to catch on. When the government intervenes in the private market, everyone loses.