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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Unions, the Affordable Care Act and the middle class

Adjust the ACA so it works for everyone

Space Needle employees and members of the Local 8 union protest in 2012.

Space Needle employees and members of the Local 8 union protest in 2012.

I am writing as a concerned citizen, a voter, and as the leader of UNITE HERE Local 8 on behalf of thousands of our members who live, pay taxes and work as housekeepers, cooks, servers and dishwashers in Washington’s airports, hotels, stadiums and event facilities.

During this August recess for members of Congress, it is important that our congressional delegation understands our feelings toward the Affordable Care Act.

When Congress and the president sought our support for the ACA, we were told that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them.

We are strong supporters of affordable health care for all Americans. Sadly, however, the promise made to us is under threat. Unintended consequences of the ACA are poised to shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class.

We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as Congress and the president pledged. Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.

As we close in on Labor Day, it is important to remember the hardworking men and women who form the backbone of our economy, and who rely on their health coverage to keep their families safe and secure.

The government needs to make changes to the ACA so that it works for everyone.

Erik Van Rossum, president of UNITE HERE Local 8, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Economy, Health care, Politics | Topics: Affordable Care Act, Congress, health care

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