NY Small Biz Doesn’t Want Union to Get Exemption from Obamacare

As we have seen across the country, collective bargaining organizations are continuously making their case to avoid the financial pitfalls of Obamacare.  Waiver after waiver has been granted.  And now, here in New York, a similar scenario is beginning to play out.

Which begs the question…if the Affordable Care Act is supposed to provide affordable and expansive health care coverage, why are labor union clamoring for ways to get out from under it?

This morning, NFIB/NY responded to this latest example of ill-advised, and frankly appalling legislation.

A bill to grant temporary relief from Obamacare to a union representing independent workers would open the floodgates for other groups seeking similar favors and shrink the risk pool in the Health Care Exchange that other small businesses and individual purchasers will be forced to shop, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today.

“We’d all love to get an exemption from Obamacare,” said NFIB State Director Mike Durant.  “If the sponsors are acknowledging with this legislation that the health care law will be expensive and disruptive to businesses, then everyone should get a waiver.”

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, would grant a one-year exemption from participation in the Exchange – and the additional costs that go with it – to the Freelancers Union.  It comes at a time when many businesses and other unions are learning that their insurance plans are about to get more expensive or even disqualified by the law’s requirements. 

In fact, several weeks ago the Obama Administration announced that the exchanges for small businesses, which were billed as a way to control costs for small employers, will be delayed until 2015.

“Thousands of small business owners in New York and their employees will be herded into the Exchange in January and many of them will be forced to pay higher premiums and special taxes to finance the program,” said Durant.  “It isn’t fair pick winners and losers and it will guarantee a lot more rent-seeking in Albany.”

Durant also said that the bill undermines the purpose of the Exchange, which is to create a large pool of insurance purchasers to spread the risk and hopefully control prices.

“Exempting thousands of people from the risk pool will mean higher premiums for everyone else who is forced to participate,” he said. 

For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.


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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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