The comprehensive health reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, and is intended to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Also included in the bill is the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which is a broad restructuring of federal student loan programs.
After the President signed the Bill, additional modifications were made through the Reconciliation Act of 2010, and the President then signed off on those changes.
While the Fund is in the process of reviewing all of the implications of the legislation, we do know that it will be implemented in phases with the full impact of the law spread over time. Major time markers for changes are immediate, within six months, in 2011, 2014 and 2018.
Since 1903, when LIUNA was first formed, it has fought to raise the standards for workers and employers on the job and has tried to provide Laborers with the most comprehensive benefits available. In these trying economic times, our Fund recognizes that many Laborers and their families are struggling. We are going to do everything we need to do to assess this legislation and make you aware of its real and potential impact.
LIUNA’s health and welfare funds have provided comprehensive coverage for many years, and the funds’ trustees and administrators have worked diligently to keep the coverage affordable as health care costs have continued to rise. LIUNA and the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America staffs will be working to analyze the entire bill and to carefully evaluate the long- and short-term impact on our members and their families, signatory employers and our LIUNA health and welfare funds. We will make communicating with members and employers a priority as more information about the bill and its impact becomes available.