Last week, Joseph Rago noted in the Wall Street Journal the latest union boss payoff by the Obama Administration (emphasis added):
White House payoffs to big labor are by now routine, though rarely are they this transparent: This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rolled out a new program that, scrubbed down, amounts to a slush fund for union health plans.
When Democrats realized that ObamaCare’s approval numbers were sagging, they loaded the bill up with "early deliverables"—programs that would go into effect immediately, rather than the five or more years of delay used to hide the bill’s true costs. One of those early deliverables was $5 billion in subsidies to early retirees aged 55 to 64 who incur annual health costs over $15,000.
Ms. Sebelius did her best to dress this reinsurance program up in a public-interest blanket, but many of the 3.3 million eligible retirees are ex-union workers who extracted generous benefits from some of America’s most hardpressed industries. Businesses that doled out these unaffordable promises will be delighted with the federal handout, taxpayers less so. And also eligible are retired state and local public employees, as well as certain health-care trusts like one recently set up by the United Auto Workers, which has an estimated 30 cents in cash for every dollar of expected claims.
National Right to Work president Mark Mix called ObamaCare a "a Trojan Horse for more forced unionization" in the Journal last September. Among other hidden payoffs to Big Labor, Mix noted the discretionary authority given to Sebelius and a provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans.
This latest scheme is unsurprising. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg.