Hollywood screenwriters are on the verge of another strike, with health care benefits emerging as a major sticking point in contract negotiations – and in a somewhat ironic twist, the writers’ own efforts to promote the passage of Obamacare in 2009 may have contributed to the precarious predicament in which they find themselves today.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) – a collection of two labor unions that represent film, television, radio, and new media writers – were set to resume negotiations with television and film production studios on Monday over their new contract, which is scheduled to expire May 1st. However, late Monday, both sides announced that negotiations have been placed on hold until Tuesday, April 25, which leaves just four business days in which to hammer out a deal.
An apparent breakdown in negotiations so close to the contract expiration date has Hollywood studios reportedly bracing for the possibility of an imminent strike.
One major sticking point in the negotiations is the unions’ ailing health care plans, which reportedly face insolvency in three years due in large part to the astronomical rise in costs imposed throughout the health care industry by Obamacare. But in a plot twist usually reserved for their best dramas, it was actually top-tier Hollywood screenwriters that helped create the environment for the controversial bill’s passage.