Public Unions Pushed To Accept Less Expensive Health Benefits

The New York Times explores how local governments are pressing unions to accept less expensive benefit packages to avoid the health law's so-called Cadillac tax which goes into effect in 2018. Other news outlets examine health law outreach efforts, as well as how August might be a 'steamy' month of town hall meetings.

The New York Times: Health Care Law Raises Pressure On Public Unions
Cities and towns across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits in anticipation of a component of the Affordable Care Act that will tax expensive plans starting in 2018. The so-called Cadillac tax was inserted into the Affordable Care Act at the advice of economists who argued that expensive health insurance with the employee bearing little cost made people insensitive to the cost of care. In public employment, though, where benefits are arrived at through bargaining with powerful unions, switching to cheaper plans will not be easy (Taylor, 8/4).

CNN: Obamacare Battle Heads To States
Does this sound familiar? The summer before campaigning begins in earnest for midterm congressional elections, activists hit the road to wage war on President Barack Obama's health care ideas. If August 2013 is starting to shape up like August 2009 – that steamy month of angry town halls fueled by the then-burgeoning tea party movement – it's because the Affordable Care Act remains in the crosshairs for conservatives, whose commitment to repealing the law endures (Liptak, 8/2).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare’s $95 Bet On Millenials Buying Insurance
Obamacare either looks like a deal or a rip-off, depending on which state you call home – and on which political party occupies the governor’s mansion. As state regulators release their 2014 monthly premium rates, it becomes clear how a combination of political motives and existing state regulations have distorted whether Obamacare can deliver the promised savings (Boak, 8/5).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Depends On Math Of Matt Saniie From Campaign Data Cave
The success of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan depends on signing up millions of uninsured Americans, and Matt Saniie knows how to find them. Fresh out of the Obama re-election campaign “Data Cave,” the 31-year-old math whiz has gone from tracking likely voters in battleground states to honing a statistical model that can predict with 99 percent accuracy whether someone has insurance (Dorning, 8/5).

Politico: Obamacare Message War Goes Local
A race to define Obamacare to the masses began today between the stacks at the Centreville Library. Over pizza in Decatur, Texas. And with a glass of wine in Naples, Fla. Dozens of communities around the country hosted pro-Obamacare events, convened by the president’s foot soldiers at Organizing for Action (Cheney, 8/4).

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