Politics
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Health care workers begin a drive to make 100,000 calls to Congress urging law makers to pass a reform bill to make health care coverage more affordable for the American public on October 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. With the upcoming holidays, Democrats in the House and Senate have only about eight weeks to deliver a healthcare reform bill to President Barack Obama by the end of this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism and hope that they will have a bill by Thanksgiving.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Health care workers begin a drive to make 100,000 calls to Congress urging law makers to pass a reform bill to make health care coverage more affordable for the American public on October 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. With the upcoming holidays, Democrats in the House and Senate have only about eight weeks to deliver a healthcare reform bill to President Barack Obama by the end of this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism and hope that they will have a bill by Thanksgiving. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  

Book: Obamacare law designed to unionize 21 million health care workers

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David Martosko
Executive Editor

Ultimately, the Obama administration granted Obamacare waivers to 1,231 employers, making them exempt from the law’s requirements for at least 30 months. Those waivers cover 613,625 employees overall, of which 88.6 percent are represented by unions and just 11.4 percent work for private employers. (RELATED: Labor unions primary recipients of Obamacare waivers)

Unions’ support for President Obama’s health care reform vision was initially tepid after his inauguration because he proposed paying for some of the legislation’s cost by levying a 40 percent excise tax on unusually expensive insurance plans.

These so-called “Cadillac” plans, which feature low deductibles and offer benefits covering expensive treatments that other plans exclude, were common among unions themselves — meaning that the unions lobbied for Obamacare despite the fact that it promised to upgrade the insurance plans of relatively few of their members.

But the administration later agreed to a moratorium on taxing those Cadillac plans, giving labor unions until 2018 to lobby for other ways to spare themselves the extra cost.

That delay added nearly an extra $120 billion to Obamacare’s overall calculated cost, a shortfall that the law made up by making additional cuts to Medicare Advantage, the “Medicare Part C” program that allows some senior citizens to receive benefits through private insurance companies.

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