AFL-CIO linked group joins ColoradoCare opposition

AFL-CIO linked group joins ColoradoCare opposition

DENVER—Last week, The Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council, linked to the AFL-CIO, took an official “NO” position on ColoradoCare, or Amendment 69, joining Democratic and Republican leaders, non-profits and other business groups. The announcement follows an implosion last week among progressives and establishment politicians on the Left debating the single-payer proposal and its impacts on women’s health.

Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:

“Union-backed groups are recognizing what we have known since the beginning, that ColoradoCare will triple our taxes, double our health care costs, hurt families and jeopardize our health. We must continue to raise awareness about how lethal ColoradoCare is so that people get the truth instead of the Amendment 69 campaign’s lies.”

Below is the text from the trade council’s position statement:

“The Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council stands in opposition of Amendment 69. While our organization has a long history of fighting for national healthcare reform and for better benefits for our members, Amendment 69 would actually increase, and in many cases double, the healthcare costs of our construction industry employees represented by this council. It would also impact our fellow union members who travel to Colorado to help us build our infrastructure in Colorado.

The drafters of amendment 69 made broad assumptions that failed to recognize the complexities of the Taft-Hartley healthcare trust funds utilized by our employers and unions to provide healthcare to our members. Healthcare reform requires a national focus and uniform application to work for our members and this industry. For these reasons, we will be in opposition to Amendment 69.

Background

Our organization has three main concerns with Amendment 69:

• Our members would be forced to pay the Colorado Care payroll tax surcharge for at least 3 years while the fund to implement the program was established – all the while continuing to contribute to their existing healthcare plan. This would double our members costs for at least the first three years of the program.

• Amendment 69 would double the costs for our members with working spouses. Currently our healthcare benefits provide full family coverage for children and spouses allowing the spouse to often waive healthcare benefits when they choose to work. Amendment 69 would force the working spouses of our members to pay payroll tax surcharges for Colorado Care regardless of whether they were covered under the plan of their spouses.

• Finally, Amendment 69 would require union construction workers from other states who come to Colorado work to pay twice, for their existing healthcare plan at their home local union in another state AND the Colorado Care payroll tax surcharge for the wages they earn in Colorado. It is unclear whether or not the out-of-state workers would ever receive any benefits under Colorado Care. Colorado unions would still be required to reimburse out-of-state sister unions for the traveling employees healthcare benefits.”

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