Senate Republicans: Don’t even think about sneaking in that ObamaCare union exemption

posted at 1:31 pm on November 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, the news broke that the Obama administration was ever-so-quietly adding a bit of crafty rulemaking to the already gigantic ObamaCare regulatory stack that would finally offer Big Labor at least one form of their highly sought-after relief from the law’s requirements (which, most unfortunately, they only belatedly realized could ruin the underlying design of their multi-employer Taft Hartley health insurance plans). Back in September, the administration at least publicly rebuffed the AFL-CIO’s list of resolutions/demands on that score (most especially the one that would make union employees eligible for ObamaCare’s subsidies), but there was apparently some wink-wink, nudge-nudge, wait-and-see hinting that went on somewhere, because the new plan the administration is working on could take unions off the hook for the new reinsurance fee — originally intended to raise $25 billion over three years to help support ObamaCare and its inherently higher-risk insurance pools.

Message from the Senate GOP in a letter they just wrote a letter to the administration (h/t to the WFB): Don’t. Even. Try it.

Dear Director Burwell:

On September 18th, 2013, 21 Senators wrote to you to ask that you “not authorize the release of any regulations that will create a special arve out which benefits union workers” over other Americans. We are disappointed to learn that the regulation published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on October 30th, 2013, states that the agency intends to propose further rulemaking which would aim to exempt Taft-Hartley union health plans from the reinsurance fee mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The $25 billion reinsurance fee was established under PPACA Section 1341 as a way for health insurers to mitigate the risk of either signing up too few people in their new exchange-based insurance plans, or of not enrolling enough young and healthy people to offset the expense of the less healthy (and more costly) enrollees. The fee is undeniably expensive for unions, employers, charities, and faith-based organizations whose health plans are not available in the new health insurance exchanges and will not see any of those dollars returned to them. For the year 2014, the fee is $63 per covered life — a multi-million dollar levy for larger organizations.

While Taft-Hartley plans play an important role in providing 26 million hard working Americans with health benefits, non-profit and for-profit organizations play an equally important role in insuring 157 million equally deserving individuals and their families with employer-sponsored coverage. The regulation makes no justification as to why union members should be exempted from this fee while other similarly situated organizations (and, ultimately, their beneficiaries) must continue to pay it. We ask that you not authorize the release of any regulation which would allow for such unfair treatment and to include this letter in the public record of any future rulemaking.

It has been widely reported that labor unions recently sought an exemption from the reinsurance fee through Congress but were rightly rebuffed. To think that the Obama administration would consider such an action that benefits one gorup over another can only be characterized as cronyism at its worst. Self-insured plans — whether or not they also self-administer — are all facing the same dilemma of being force dot subsidize insurance companies participating in the new exchange. The regulatory process is meant to implement the law as written, not as the administration wishes it were.


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After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Sure hope the typos and errors aren’t in the original letter…

Scotsman on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

With a picture of Orrin Hatch at the top of the article.

The union exemption will be snuck in

Philo Beddoe on November 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

However, please add a few billion $$ of pork for us.

faraway on November 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

“Senate Republicans: Don’t even think about sneaking in that ObamaCare union exemption”

YEAH – we scumbags in congress are the ONLY people deserving of OBOZOCARE exemptions !!!!!!!

TeaPartyNation on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

So glad to see a post from you.

As usual, SPOT ON.

ToddPA on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

How much pork can Hatch get for Utah out of this one?

Ward Cleaver on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Just be sure to call it the “Fix Obama’s Lies Act”

faraway on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Did you cut-and-paste this from the original? There are an awful lot of typos in the letter. I’d be ashamed to have sent an official letter that looks this bad.

nukemhill on November 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

And members of Congress and Executive Branch must be fully compliant with the law also.

jake-the-goose on November 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Speaking of which, when will House GOP find enough brains to add Vitter onto the Upton bill? And medical device tax repeal? And some tort reform measures?

I know nobody in DC leadership has the intelligence to go for full repeal, but if they would at least show a sliver of lucidity…

Gingotts on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

So glad to see a post from you.

As usual, SPOT ON.

ToddPA on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Thank you. I’m so sick right now, I am tied to a recliner…what better entertainment than my friends at HA.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Time to elect conservatives.

Go away Orrin.

kcewa on November 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

IF you support OBAMACARE you support people dying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y352YZTygHI


Senator Hatch do you hate sick people?

Senator Hatch do you hate the working class?

http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/100313-673712-obamacare-opposition-to-obamacare-reaches-new-high.htm

Opposition to ObamaCare hit new highs just as it officially gets off the ground, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll. The survey found 54% oppose the law, up from 50% in September and 47% in July. More than half want the law delayed a year as part of any deal to raise the debt limit.

The survey also found that ObamaCare is having a real and negative impact on jobs.

Nearly one in 10 said that either they or someone in their household has had their hours cut back because of ObamaCare. That translates into as many as 9 million people. Meanwhile, 6% say they or another household member has lost a job because of ObamaCare. In other words, the health law is responsible for as many as 7 million lost jobs.

PappyD61 on November 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

What Nuke said. I’d have to chew someone’s butt for putting that out.

LtGenRob on November 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

.
Dittos.
.

Speaking of which, when will House GOP find enough brains to add Vitter onto the Upton bill? And medical device tax repeal? And some tort reform measures?

I know nobody in DC leadership has the intelligence to go for full repeal, but if they would at least show a sliver of lucidity…

Gingotts on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

.
Double dittos.

listens2glenn on November 14, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Yeah, and what are you going to do if he does.

NOTHING.

stenwin77 on November 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Gingotts on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Because it that is done then your helping to keep the bill around forever. We need to have this bill totally gone before stuff is put into place.

watertown on November 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

With a picture of Orrin Hatch at the top of the article.

The union exemption will be snuck in

Philo Beddoe on November 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

You could not be more wrong. Hatch will sign off on it first.

CW20 on November 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

========================

Press Releases

Press Release of Senator Cruz

Cruz: Obamacare is not Working. It’s Time to Start Over

Contact: press@cruz.senate.gov / (202) 228-7561
Thursday, November 14, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement in reaction to the President’s Obamacare announcement:

“It was only a few weeks ago that President Obama refused to consider any changes to Obamacare, forcing the government to shutdown for 16 days.

“Today, he made a 180-degree turn and announced a plan that, sadly, is too late for the more than 5 million Americans who have already received cancellation notices from insurance companies notifying them the plans they had are no longer available due to explicit provisions in Obamacare that made them illegal.

“We cannot ‘fix’ Obamacare. The damage has been done, as millions of Americans have already been made to pay higher premiums and lose their jobs, wages, and health care plans.

“Yesterday, the largest private provider of cancer treatment in Austin, Texas, announced it will not accept insurance plans sold through the exchanges, due to regulations associated with Obamacare.

“The news will only get worse. If Obamacare continues to be enacted, Americans will continue to lose health care plans, premiums will continue to rise, and Americans will continue to lose their doctors.

“Obamacare is not working. It’s time to start over.

“The plan the president outlined today is not capable of undoing the damage; it is designed to mitigate his party’s political pain.

“It must be repealed and at the same time, Republicans and Democrats should work together to adopt policies that will truly make health care more accessible by creating a true national market to make insurance more affordable, personal, and portable.”

###
=====

http://www.cruz.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=348056

canopfor on November 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM

canopfor on November 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

And don’t forget, this is the senator that Sarah Palin endorsed and called, Mr. Balanced Budget.

http://freedomslighthouse.net/2012/05/23/gov-sarah-palin-endorses-mr-balanced-budget-sen-orrin-hatch-in-utah-senate-race-video-52212/

stenwin77 on November 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

ToddPA on November 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Thank you. I’m so sick right now, I am tied to a recliner…what better entertainment than my friends at HA.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Sorry to hear that. Yeah, we’ll keep you entertained…

..just think of us as the backyard chefs, and the trolls are
the Shish kabobs….

ToddPA on November 14, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Obama health care law
5m
===

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Obama’s changes to health care law: ‘True to form, it appears this is little more than a political response designed to shift blame rather than solve the problem’ – statement
read more on speaker.gov
=========================

Americans Need Real, Not Political Solution to Obamacare
Posted by Speaker Boehner’s Press Office
November 14, 2013
Press Release
**************

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after the president announced “administrative” changes to Obamacare.

“After finally acknowledging he repeatedly misled the American people to sell his health care law, the president is asking Americans to trust him again. The President has absolutely no credibility on his promise. True to form, it appears this is little more than a political response designed to shift blame rather than solve the problem. This problem cannot be papered over by another ream of Washington regulations. Americans losing their coverage because of the president’s health care law need clear, unambiguous legislation that guarantees the plan they have and like will still be allowed. That’s why the House will be voting on the Keep Your Health Plan Act tomorrow, and the president should support it.”

- See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/americans-need-real-not-political-solution-obamacare#sthash.j6he9wJX.dpuf
=====================================================

http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/americans-need-real-not-political-solution-obamacare

canopfor on November 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

canopfor on November 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Thank you. I’m so sick right now, I am tied to a recliner…what better entertainment than my friends at HA.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Prayers ascending for you darlin’

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Yeah, if Obamacare is such a good deal why wouldn’t the lazy stupid one deny coverage to his filthy wife and worthless brats? Are they really that much better that they shouldn’t pay their fair share for Sandra Fluke’s birth control?

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

And don’t forget, this is the senator that Sarah Palin endorsed and called, Mr. Balanced Budget.

stenwin77 on November 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Yeah, I’ll tell you! I can no longer support this woman,
let alone vote for her!!

Pssssst, come closer. I’ll tell you a little Secret.

She also ENDORSED Ted Cruz.

ToddPA on November 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Vulnerable Senate Democrats backed rule responsible for insurance cancellations

What’s more, Landrieu and other vulnerable Senate Democrats — including Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC) — have another very big problem. It turns out that they all backed the rule that led to the wave of insurance cancellations, as CNN reported late last week:

They need to be PUNISHED.

Murphy9 on November 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Why are there any exemptions?

obama should have been asked today why he’s not leading by being on it, with his clan, all the congress and their clans…

Cheers Hornet and get well soon!!!

Schadenfreude on November 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” – Thomas Jefferson

Wade on November 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Did you cut-and-paste this from the original? There are an awful lot of typos in the letter. I’d be ashamed to have sent an official letter that looks this bad.

nukemhill on November 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

It looks like the pdf was spell checked. At least they are not expressing concern about an arve out.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

O/T

Obamacare is fun to trash, and lord knows there is a lot about it that is low hanging fruit.

But why is no one talking about the Trans Pacific Partners treaty Obamaduro is secretly trying to push through? It is a truly evil treaty that will cripple our freedoms and our economy for decades to come. A particularly odious chapter of it was leaked by Wikileaks today, and there is not even a Hot Gas thread about it? C’mon. the TPP makes Obamacare look like child’s play.

NOMOBO on November 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

It looks like the pdf was spell checked. At least they are not expressing concern about an arve out.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

They should have gone with this is bullsht…

hillsoftx on November 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Thanks guys!
I’m around more often than you think…it’s like a Cheers here.
And yes, we have the trolls to bat around.
They seem a bit absent today.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Tell Obama:

NO MORE LIES

Repeal it. Let the free market work.

Fallon on November 14, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Typos up the Wazoo. dubyatf?

Sacramento on November 14, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Heh, take a look at Drudge

hillsoftx on November 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Most CROOKED administration, evah!

GarandFan on November 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

There should be no exemptions, period…

OmahaConservative on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

That’s my mantra.

Enforce every letter of the law. No exceptions, no delays.

OR repeal every letter of the law. No exceptions, no delays.

I suppose I could just say “enforce or repeal”.

freedomfirst on November 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM

GRUBER: Exactly. It’s 12 million people, about a third of which will end up paying more under this law. And that as you said in the introductions sort of the idea. We currently have a highly discriminatory system where if you’re sick, if you’ve been sick or [if] you’re going to get sick, you cannot get health insurance.

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return. And that, by my estimate, is about four million people. In return, we’ll have a fixed system where over 30 million people will now for the first time be able to access fairly price and guaranteed health insurance.

MIT professor thinks 4 million people who don’t get sick can be charged a “fair” price, and cover the insurance costs of 30 million people.

Really? My faith in the credibility of MIT has been rocked.

BobMbx on November 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

The way I see it:

1) Leave the law as-is, and it implodes, or
2) Try to fix the law, and it implodes, or
3) Repeal the law, and spend the next decade allowing the insurance/heath care industry to rebuild.

…am I missing anything here, other than the utter and complete stupidity of our “leaders?”

Turtle317 on November 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after the president announced “administrative” changes to Obamacare.

“After finally acknowledging he repeatedly misled the American people to sell his health care law, the president is asking Americans to trust him again. The President has absolutely no credibility on his promise. True to form, it appears this is little more than a political response designed to shift blame rather than solve the problem. This problem cannot be papered over by another ream of Washington regulations. Americans losing their coverage because of the president’s health care law need clear, unambiguous legislation that guarantees the plan they have and like will still be allowed. That’s why the House will be voting on the Keep Your Health Plan Act tomorrow, and the president should support it.”

More tissue paper to cover the vomit on the floor…. if we cover it up its not really there right?

Koa on November 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Orrin Hatch is a fair-weather Republican of the K-Street Crony Party and needs to be turned out of power one way or the other, in the primary or the general.

FloatingRock on November 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

The company I work for had to pay $240,000 for that fee because it’s based on every covered life, which includes participants and their dependents, and our premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance went up because of that and some other Obamacare fees. They better not exempt unions.

lea on November 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Sure hope the typos and errors aren’t in the original letter…

Scotsman on November 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I noticed that too. But then all those assclown congresscritters are aren’t too swift anyway.

timberline on November 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Get better soon Hornet. While you still have a doctor to visit. They may soon decide to become plumbers.

Deano1952 on November 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Senate Republicans: Don’t even think about sneaking in that ObamaCare union exemption

Unnecessary. The President will simply decline to enforce any laws that unions don’t want enforced. Problem solved.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I bet if they really tried, the O’Barky tribe could still get ACA Policy #000-000-0001.

It’s not like a real birth certificate or anything, right?
Imagine the Rose Garden photo-op
/.

CaveatEmpty on November 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Did you cut-and-paste this from the original? There are an awful lot of typos in the letter. I’d be ashamed to have sent an official letter that looks this bad.

nukemhill on November 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

The typos are not in the original. The document is protected against copy-and-paste, undoubtedly to protect against misuse of the signatures, which is why it had to be re-typed.

HTL on November 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

They blew it. Now they are singling out one group to help, the ones losing their insurance, and the letter will be used in the next election to prove the RINOs are anti union. They certainly are asshats.

You want an exemption for folk to keep their insurance, then why not an exemption for unions? Asshat.

Once you start singling out any group, even the ones who were cancelled, you will be pilloried for every other group you did not fight for. Asshats

Dear Mr President, whatever you do do not help that group, signed, Asshats

entagor on November 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

A-freaking-men.

Hope you get mended up real soon!

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

After you f%cked up going after Cruz and Lee, you better hold the line, you spineless asshats.
No compromise. He’s on the ropes.
They own it…and everyone knows it, no thanks to you rinos.

HornetSting on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

A-freaking-men.

Hope you get mended up real soon!

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Arrgh! Hit the strike by mistake!

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2013 at 6:06 PM

And just how are they planning to stop it?

jnelchef on November 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Senate Republicans: Don’t even think about sneaking in that ObamaCare union exemption

What kind of wacky-bird stuff is that? Hatch, McCain and Graham would be better served by working hand in hand with their Democrat buddies against their common enemy, the Republican voting base Conservatives and TEA Party folks.

RJL on November 14, 2013 at 8:35 PM

MIT professor thinks 4 million people who don’t get sick can be charged a “fair” price, and cover the insurance costs of 30 million people.

Really? My faith in the credibility of MIT has been rocked.

BobMbx on November 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

This is basically how all insurance works: premiums are collected from the entire group and used (with investment income) to pay the claims of those who actually do get sick, so those who don’t ever file a claim subsidize those who do.
The difference is that real insurance is (1) a voluntary contract purchased to cover actually possible events (e.g., no pregnancy coverage for men); (2) based on evaluation and analysis of actual risk factors; (3) has a much more sustainable ratio of non-users to users; (4) is not controlled by regulators who add functions irrelevant to the basic purpose of insurance; (5) is not mangled by politicians who are more concerned about political pay-offs than keeping the business functioning properly.

AesopFan on November 14, 2013 at 11:00 PM

If some of these rinos want to help us out, I’ll take it. Cornyn seems to have gotten a little spine lately, too. I know they’re not really sincere and maybe Hatch is in it for the money but it does look to the lsm like the Rs are together on this. I don’t like the Upton bill or anything else that might save this mess in any way since it’s so close to crashing on it’s own. Those insurance plans are gone and not coming back. Landrieu’s bill is even worse. A lot of people are going to die and all of this is a fix for ’14. Everybody in DC is only looking to the election.

Kissmygrits on November 15, 2013 at 7:44 AM