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Louisiana Unions Receive Waiver from ObamaCare Requirements

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Organized labor fought for federal health law and resisted repeal efforts

Even as organized labor expresses enthusiasm for ObamaCare, it has sought and received waiver protections from the law’s consumer protection provisions. In fact, almost half of the individuals that have received waivers participate in collectively bargained health plans.

The waiver list the Obama Administration released earlier this month included the Louisiana Laborers Health and Welfare Fund, the Louisiana Electrical Health Fund, and the Louisiana Carpenters Regional Fund. Waivers allow exclusions from rules against annual limits to medical coverage. Federal health officials review each waiver application to determine if a premium increase would cause enrollees to lose access to their current plan.

Labor unions were among the largest contributors and supporters of President Obama and the Democrats in both the 2008 and 2010 elections. In the 2010 political cycle, for example, $59 million in labor PAC money went to the Democrats, versus $4 million for Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.Org.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was the top overall contributor in 2010 with 100 percent of its $8.8 million PAC contribution going to Democrats. Although the union campaigned in favor of ObamaCare and resisted efforts to repeal the legislation, several of its affiliates have applied for and received a waiver.

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be reached at kmooney@pelicaninstitute.org. Follow him on Twitter.


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