Is Delta bracing employees for an ObamaCare shock?
Erick Erickson of RedState has a radio show in Atlanta, which is also the hub for Delta Airlines. Erick says he’s been getting calls from Delta employees about a memo, originally sent from Delta management to the Obama Administration in June, which the company is now beginning to circulate among employees. Coupled with warnings that “their healthcare will be radically changed because of ObamaCare,” this might be the first step in dropping the kind of Affordable Care Act bomb that so many other companies have been forced to detonate on their employees, most recently United Parcel Service.
Erickson calls the letter “stunning:”
According to Delta, in 2014 Obamacare will cost the company at least $38 million in direct costs and that is only the beginning. With added medical inflation, Delta claims “the cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year.” A $100 million increase thanks in large part to Obamacare and ancillary cost increases derived therefrom.
He included an excerpt from the letter:
The ACA requires large employers to pay an annual fee of $63 per covered participant in 2014. For Delta’s roughly 160,000 enrolled active and retired employees and their family members, this represents more than $10 million added to the cost of providing health care next year. As we discussed, this fee, which is meant to help stabilize the state exchanges as they get started, provides absolutely zero direct benefit to our participants. It is, essentially, a direct subsidy from us and our employees to those who participate in the exchanges.
Between ObamaCare’s mandated coverage for “children” of advanced age, and the individual mandate that will compel people to seek insurance who might otherwise have chosen to decline coverage, you can pour another $28 million worth of red ink on Delta’s books. And the “Cadillac tax” is probably going to wipe out their pilots’ insurance plans in a couple of years. This is all hitting a vital industry with notoriously thin (some would argue non-existent) net profit margins. To politicians like Barack Obama, $100 million is pocket lint, but of course they’re spending other people’s money.
Meanwhile, the Nevada State AFL-CIO became the latest labor union to rebel against ObamaCare. Having apparently grown tired of listening to whatever Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) uses for telephone hold music, the union passed a resolution on Wednesday “urging the President and Congress to uphold their promise for unions to keep their current healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act.” In other words, they want Obama to use his new dictatorial powers to rewrite the law, just like he did for Congress, and let the AFL-CIO bail out of the health-care horror that is consuming the rest of America.
The Nevada AFL-CIO also decried the “unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act,” including “the destruction of the 40-hour work week, higher taxes,” and higher insurance premiums. I hate to break to you, guys, but those weren’t “unintended” consequences. The authors of ObamaCare lied to you about this stuff, but that doesn’t mean it’s coming as a complete surprise to them.
Like all the other unions pestering their pet Democrats about ObamaCare, they foolishly believed Obama’s promise about keeping your plan if you liked your plan. Perhaps they’ll realize that talking to Democrats is a waste of time, and passing resolutions amounts to hugging each other and sobbing. The only people who can save you from ObamaCare are the Republicans who want to defund it, union workers. And they could really use your vocal support right now, because not all of them have stiff spines.
Update: More ObamaCare fallout, courtesy of the Washington Times: “An influential Charlottesville, Va., money management team claims that Obamacare has forced many firms in Thomas Jefferson’s hometown to switch to part-time workers, and that one manager was told he’d be fired if he hired a 50th full-time worker, the number that triggers the costly health care system.”
The list of firms practicing this “economic self-defense” is said to include “almost all major franchises.” The employers in question are keeping their plans quiet to avoid “backlash and boycotts.”
Update: The hits keep coming, as the University of Virginia announces it will drop coverage for spouses because of ObamaCare, much as UPS did yesterday. Warnings about further benefit cuts due to the impending “Cadillac tax” were also given.