ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Marketplaces, also known as Exchanges began on October 1, 2013. There was much activity in the weeks leading up to their opening and since then from both proponents and opponents. But only in Ohio and a handful of other states has the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) gone door to door urging people to sign up for coverage.
The SEIU is targeting lower income residents because many of them will qualify for subsidies that will help cover co-payments, deductibles, and other medical costs. According to the SEIU President:
It is our moment to build power for working people by empowering them with the facts about the new healthcare law. SEIU members worked for more than two decades to win affordable healthcare and stop the worst insurance industry abuses. We’re ready to give it all we’ve got.
Many companies, like Time Warner, IBM, Trader Joe’s and Home Depot, will stop offering health insurance to their employees and retirees. Instead, those people can get insurance coverage at the local Exchange. In fact, some experts believe this may be the end of employer-sponsored health coverage, which could ultimately make American companies more competitive with companies in other parts of the world that do not traditionally provide coverage.
The era of employer-paid health coverage may be coming to a close. Employers started offering these benefits following the Second World War when wage controls kept employers from attracting and retaining the best talent with higher salaries, but such benefits no longer make much sense
says John Challenger, CEO of the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The SEIU will focus on workers regardless of union affiliation, many of whom previously did not have coverage or inadequate coverage. A local SEIU spokesman said that in addition to informing residents about the new marketplace, they will also have people sign petitions to encourage the expansion of Medicaid to cover people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Imagine that, a union forcing people to sign something.
According to the SEIU President,
This law is already transforming the lives of working Americans. It is freeing working men and women form the fear of medical bankruptcy, from the fear of preexisting conditions. It is freeing them to pursue the work they are called to do, to pursue the lives they want to lead and the dreams they hope to achieve.
Really? ObamaCare = achieving dreams. Finally, though decades removed from college, I will be big enough, strong enough, and fast enough to play middle linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes!
Matt Austin is a Columbus, Ohio employment lawyer who owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm with offices in central and northeast Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can email Matt at Austin@LaborEmploymentOSHA.com or call him at 614.285.5342.