- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
GOP Sen. John Thune files bill to thwart Obamacare deal for unions
Sen. John Thune introduced a bill Monday that would thwart the White House from softening the impact of the new health care law on labor unions, a traditional set of White House allies who are rethinking their support for the controversial reforms.
Mr. Thune, South Dakota Republican, filed the Union Bailout Prevention Act amid reports the Obama administration may find a way to grant government subsidies to offset premium costs for those on multiemployer plans, also known as Taft-Hartley plans, which many union members hold.
In midsummer letters to the White House, unions such as the Teamsters have made it clear they will not support the Affordable Care Act unless they obtain the subsidies. More recently, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters he visited the White House to speak about health care, but declined to divulge any specific proposals.
Critics say the unions are trying to parlay their leverage with Democrats into a sweetheart deal to get subsidies on top of employer-based health coverage.
Republicans gleefully have noted the irony of the situation — that early backers of Obamacare now want it amended.
“Now that the full consequences of the Democrats’ law are nearing, these same union leaders are seeking a special backroom deal from the White House,” Mr. Thune said in a statement through the Senate Republican Conference, of which he is chairman. “Rather than take hard-earned money from taxpayers to subsidize union health care plans, the Obama administration should give all Americans a break by permanently delaying this train wreck.”
The administration delayed by one year, to 2015, a mandate requiring firms with 50 or more full-time workers to provide adequate health coverage or pay fines.
House Republicans voted to codify that change into law and match it with a one-year delay to the individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain some form of health coverage as of 2014, although the Democrat-controlled Senate is unlikely to take up the latter measure.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated Friday that the delay would save the government $35 billion over the next 10 years because without the mandate fewer people would enter the Medicaid program or seek subsidies on state-based insurance exchanges through Obamacare, and Americans would be taxed on compensation that normally would be channeled to health coverage and be tax-exempt.
Conservatives also cried foul at an interpretation by the Office of Personnel Management that said members of Congress and their staffs can keep a federal subsidy that covers up to 75 percent of their insurance premiums, even though a unique provision in the law forces them to acquire coverage on the exchanges and everyday Americans would not get such a generous subsidy to offset their out-of-pocket costs.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- In rare bipartisan move, Congress tackles long-standing Medicare issue
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- Key Obamacare official: Last two months much harder than anyone hoped
- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow