Health Care for America

WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has historically been on the forefront on health care issues, and continues to be so today; and

WHEREAS, Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds have provided good, affordable health care benefits to Teamster members and their families for seven decades, and continue to do so today; and

WHEREAS, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded health care coverage and access to 20 million previously uninsured and underinsured Americans through the creation of the federally-sponsored and state-sponsored health care exchanges, through Medicaid expansion, extended health coverage to most Americans under age 26 and required coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions; and has reduced waiting periods for coverage, has eliminated annual and lifetime limits on individual health care claims in order to prevent bankruptcy as a result of unsustainable medical costs and; has enhanced the ability of employees to leave their employer’s health care plan if they have a pre-existing condition covered by that employer’s health plan; and

WHEREAS, the ACA has reduced health care cost-shifting from the uninsured to individual and group purchasers of health insurance and has reduced the financial pressure on medical providers who are now paid more quickly and reliably and with less uncompensated care; and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding all of the achievements and potential achievements of the ACA as described above, certain provisions of the ACA – including some which still remain unclear and others which have yet to be implemented – have the potential to adversely affect the ability of Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds to maintain the level of health care coverage they provide to Teamster members and their families such as employers’ incentive to drop health coverage since the ACA employer penalties for not providing coverage are too low; and

WHEREAS, some features of the ACA which could potentially have a negative impact on Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and their participants, including the so-called “Cadillac Tax” to be assessed upon allegedly “high cost” health benefit plans beginning in 2020; the rules for classification of “full time” employment for purposes of the ACA; the identification of what health benefits must be provided; the definition of an “affordable” health benefit for employees and dependents; the provision of the “lookback” waiting period for health plan eligibility and many other complicated and uncertain requirements of the ACA.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters reaffirms its general support both for the goals of the ACA and for many of its provisions, including improving the quality of health care, and its general support for the continued implementation of the ACA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters firmly opposes taxing working Americans on their employer-sponsored health benefits through the so-called “Cadillac Tax” and encourages the officers and staff of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and all Teamster Local Unions and other affiliates to support legislative efforts to completely repeal the so-called “Cadillac Tax”; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters encourages all Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster Local Unions to support legislative and regulatory efforts to implement the ACA in a manner that preserves and protects Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds, such as increasing employer penalties for not providing health coverage and removing incentives for employers to provide harmful high deductible and limited medical network options that undermine current Teamster benefit levels, and better defines coverage and affordability, creates innovative health care methodologies that will contain health care costs and improve the health of Teamster members and their families, and generates opportunities for this Union to grow and provide our members and their families with access to affordable, high quality health care.