WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has fought for, and presently sustains, some of the most generous health and welfare benefits in the United States through collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds make up one of the largest purchasers and providers of health care benefits in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Teamster employers are constantly pushing for health and welfare benefits reductions and for shifting the cost of those benefits onto our members, and may attempt to drop health care coverage completely and shift their responsibility for such coverage onto the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care exchanges; and
WHEREAS, the cost of health care benefits, including prescription drugs (particularly specialty pharmacy) and retiree medical care, continues to increase faster than the general inflation rate, even with the passage of the ACA; and
WHEREAS, over the past 20 years, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has attempted to defray the cost of health care and related benefits by offering various voluntary and group purchasing plans such as TeamsteRx, TeamVision, the Teamster Medical Stop Loss program, the Teamster retiree medical program and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Medicare Part D prescription drug plan; and
WHEREAS, although the ACA has had some success in reducing health care costs and increasing the availability of health care coverage in the long term, certain ACA requirements are likely to increase the costs of providing health care in the short term for many Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters strongly encourage the officers and staff of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to continue to communicate to Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster negotiators about relevant legislative, regulatory and lobbying efforts aimed at preserving and protecting collectively- bargained Teamster health and welfare plans, including enhancements made to Teamster group purchasing programs, upcoming trustee education programs and, in particular, the continuance and enhancement of the IBT national medical Stop- Loss Health Insurance program, which will reduce costs to Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds by spreading the risk of large catastrophic medical claims among a large number of Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters strongly encourage all Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster negotiators to support these collective efforts, to share information and to work together to develop cost- saving strategies such as purchasing coalitions, retiree health initiatives, benefit bargaining strategies and new innovative benefit programs to preserve our strong tradition of providing meaningful health and welfare benefits to our members and their families.