Labor is discovering more about Obamacare that isn’t all that.
the law doesn’t take into account that health benefits have been negotiated by employers and unions over decades, and that rewriting plans to meet new requirements can affect wages and other labor terms.
Uncertainty about future costs is also hampering negotiations. One of the biggest looming unknowns is the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans scheduled to take effect in 2018. The provision imposes a 40% tax on the annual cost of health care above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.
The regional transit system in Philadelphia, Septa, estimates the tax will boost its health-care costs by $15 million a year, or 12.5% of the $120 million it currently spends each year on health coverage.
And [emphasis added]
Another provision of the law that eliminates caps on annual and lifetime health-care costs has forced multi-employer plans to purchase their own insurance to prevent potential runaway costs from bankrupting plans.
Jim Ray, a lawyer who represents the Laborers International Union of North America in benefits negotiations, said these provisions have increased construction-industry health plans’ costs by 5% to 10%, and already resulted in lower wages for some laborers. He said employers are frequently seeking contract language to cap their own liability for future cost increases from the law.
“When we first supported the calls for health-care reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down,” he said.