Dennis Desmond, a local labor union leader, has recently spoken out in favor of a Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
Mr. Desmond’s message aligns perfectly with the McAuliffe PR team talking points. I challenge Mr. Desmond to tell the public what’s really going on when union bosses speak out about the harms of Obamacare and then flip-flop, speaking in favor of the program that they admit will hurt the same union workers who pay the dues that pay their salaries.
Obamacare and its Virginia counterpart, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, is bad for union workers and the people of Virginia. Don’t take my word for it; Terry O’Sullivan, general president of Laborer’s Union International of North America, spoke up against Obamacare because it would hurt union workers. Make no mistake - Medicaid expansion under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is Obamacare for Virginia.
Quoting Terry O’Sullivan’s July 18, 2013, letter to President Barack Obama posted on their website, O’Sullivan on behalf of LUINA said, “I am compelled to express our concerns over the destructive consequences of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…because of our concerns over the impact the PPACA would have on the members of our Union and their families.”
Terry O’Sullivan was right in stating that “approximately 3 million laborers, retirees, and their families now face the very real prospect of losing their healthcare benefits.”
Fast forward to the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race. LIUNA donated just under $250 thousand dollars to candidate Terry McAuliffe. What is going on here is pretty obvious.
Obamacare and the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will hurt union workers and Virginia as a whole, but there is a much bigger prize on the line that enabled McAuliffe to raise over $2.9 million from big labor while pumping up the same Obamacare program the unions decried. They gave big because they can count on Terry McAuliffe to repay a favor. Here’s how:
Many think Virginia’s right-to-work (RTW) status is safe even with a Democratic governor like Terry McAuliffe. They are wrong. You need only look at Indiana or Michigan to see how quickly a state can flip. If the state legislature becomes controlled by Democrats (either now or later), Virginia’s right-to-work status could go away with a simple vote or two and McAuliffe’s signature. How important is this? Right-to-work means Virginians can choose whether or not to join and support a union. It embodies the workplace freedom that is going to keep our economy headed towards recovery.
Labor boss Dennis Desmond recently said, “I applaud our governor for putting working families first.” Hogwash! Mr. Desmond is so excited about the prize of repealing Virginia’s right-to-work status, he’ll even shill for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
The Obamacare Medicaid expansion will not create jobs. It will destroy jobs. It will consume state funding that will be much better used for education and public safety, and it will pile more debt on future generations. Virginia should avoid Medicaid expansion and instead reform what is already a fiscally unsustainable program in ways that will offer better care at lower costs to taxpayers.
Governor McAuliffe needs to quit playing politics and pass a clean budget without the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. And Virginians – all of them – need to listen carefully and critically to both sides of the discussion. The economic future of the Commonwealth is at stake.
Del. Dave LaRock (R-Dist. 33)