The United Federation of Teachers -- one of President Obama's key political backers -- is the biggest beneficiary of a White House sweetheart deal that will exempt certain outfits from
complying with new health-care rules, officials revealed yesterday.
The quietly approved federal waivers for 30 companies, health insurers, unions and other groups across the country means the UFT doesn't have to gradually phase out caps on annual health coverage like everyone else.
The UFT was concerned that could have been a major financial hit on the union.
The one-year waiver, approved last month by the Department of Health and Human Services, covers all 351,000 members of the UFT's welfare fund, which provides health care and other benefits.
The UFT has the largest pool of affected employees of the 30 organizations that received waivers. The second largest was CIGNA with 265,000 members.
Critics have questioned the need for the exemptions, who got them, and why.
"Big labor spent millions of dollars pushing ObamaCare, which they made sure was stuffed full of union giveaways," said Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represents businesses.
"So the fact that the largest waiver now belongs to New York teachers union bosses might be funny if the rest of America wasn't stuck complying with the bill's onerous mandates."
While serving as president of the UFT and its parent group, the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten and her members endorsed Obama in 2008.
by Kyle Olson
The irony would be humorous if it weren’t so sad: The United Federation of Teachers, the New York City branch of the American Federation of Teachers, which pushed ardently for ObamaCare has now
requested – and received – a waiver from its mandates.
The UFT is a member of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). In September 2009, the NYSUT’s website published “Health care refor... Here’s an excerpt:
ObamaCare was such a great idea at the time - the AFT gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Healthcare for America Now, the leading organization pushing for the government takeover of health care.
It was announced Thursday that the UFT has requested and received an Obamacare-waiver after it discovered their members would end up losing their health insurance plans. Uh oh.
According to USA Today, “The waivers are effective for a year and were granted to insurance plans and companies (i.e. the union and its affiliated “UFT Welfare Fund”) that showed that employee premiums would rise or that workers would lose coverage without them.”
If the union thought ObamaCare would benefit the country, then why seek a waiver? And can we now count the union as a partner in the effort to repeal it?
A quick look at the UFT Welfare Fund’s 990 Form shows why the union doesn’t want its little money-maker to lose business. In 2008, the UFT Welfare Fund paid over $6 million to the
union for facilities, equipment, and other expenses.
This is just another example of fat cats in Washington, DC telling us how to live our lives, then seeking exemptions from the rules they impose on us.
When will it end?