Yep: Unions get their exemption from ObamaCare’s reinsurance fee

posted at 3:01 pm on November 27, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The inevitable conclusion to the drama that was Big Labor at first relentlessly campaigning on behalf of both ObamaCare and Barack Obama, only to realize just a little too late that ObamaCare would have a pernicious effect on them personally by messing with many union members’ insurance plans and thus deciding to furiously lobby the White House for special treatment, is finally official.

A few weeks ago, the Obama administration hinted that they were going to acquiesce to Big Labor’s demand for a break by exempting certain self-insured, self-administered plans (i.e., their multi-employer Taft Hartley plans) from the temporary reinsurance fee that was supposed to apply to them in 2015 and 2016. The reinsurance fee, however, was meant to raise $25 billion over three years to help pay for ObamaCare, and raise $25 billion it shall — by making up for that lost revenue elsewhere. Via the Washington Examiner:

The rules change, first proposed by the White House earlier this month, was announced by the Health and Human Services Department on Monday evening. The change exempts “self-administered, self-insured group health plans” from the law’s reinsurance fee.

The shift will raise the cost of the tax for those who do pay to $44 a year. It had previously been $42. In essence, the change is forcing those who don’t get the exception to pay an extra $2 for those who do.

It isn’t the eligibility for ObamaCare’s subsidies for which unions were really pulling, but it ain’t peanuts, either. The administration could hardly leave Big Labor completely out to dry, especially now that it looks like Democrats are going to need all the 2014 help they can get to ward off criticisms of ObamaCare’s inauspicious debut; but, of course, the administration insists that this really wasn’t specifically about giving unions a break at all, no sir! Via Fox News:

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who flagged the obscure rule change after it was filed in the Federal Register (see page 70), blasted the exemption as “crony capitalism at its worst.”

“Unions are now experiencing the ugly reality of this law, and they want out,” he said in a statement. …

A Health and Human Services official also disputed the claim that this is directed at unions.

“This definition would exempt any self-insured group health plan that does not use a third party administrator for claims processing or enrollment, not only union plans,” the official told FoxNews.com, adding they are proposing the change to better “align” the definition with the law. “The phrase ‘self-insured, self-administered plans’ is not synonymous with multiemployer plans, or Taft-Hartley plans.”

Puh-lease, spare us the rhetorical parsing. It’s not going to mask the fact that this administration is making up rules and changes as they go along, whenever and however they see fit.


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Never a doubt.

MT on November 27, 2013 at 3:04 PM

It is NOT Crony Capitalism..it is Crony Socialism.

NJ Red on November 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Stalin is a bit envious.

jukin3 on November 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM

How about we make the 2014 elections about impeachment!! Take back the Senate and impeach the …..

odannyboy on November 27, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Hey, what happened to that whole fairness thingy he’ always yappin’ about?

antipc on November 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Every person in the United States with a group plan, except for those in these union plans, is a potential litigant in a class action suit.

This is about as stupid as it gets. All it takes is one person.

unclesmrgol on November 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

CronyCarePlus.

hillsoftx on November 27, 2013 at 3:08 PM

They will never stop until they are forced to stop.

It’s time.

IronDioPriest on November 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM

It’s time.

IronDioPriest on November 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Yep, time to send the Redcoats packing.

antipc on November 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM

And the American people say: meh…..

KMC1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Yawn.. SOP for thugs to reward thugs for being thugs

jaywemm on November 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM

That picture cracks me up. The administration needs to be sued asap.

Ellis on November 27, 2013 at 3:18 PM

It’s not going to mask the fact that this administration is making up rules and changes as they go along, whenever and however they see fit.

And where are the Republicans standing up and saying “not so fast you rat-eared criminal!”

Seriously, Boehner? McConnell? Where the hell are you???? Oh that’s right all you care about is demonizing Ted Cruz and getting amnesty for the illegals.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I’m sure the MSM will be all over this on tonight’s news. Right?

JusDreamin on November 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

The law was specifically written with many “as the Secretary Determines” and “as the Secretary decides” clauses to accomplish this and other things, with nary a single Republican vote. That is the most important thing to remember at the turkey day table conversation, the Dems own this disaster lock stock and barrel.

Johnnyreb on November 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

This crowd is as bad as the old Soviet Union. “As long as you are a member, supporter or donor to THE PARTY, you’ll be okay.

How about that 40% excise tax on “cadillac” plans? Has Big Labor been exempted from that too? I know their health care plans would qualify for that tax.

TarheelBen on November 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Healthcare is a right.

And some citizens have a greater right than others.

gwelf on November 27, 2013 at 3:21 PM

How about we make the 2014 elections about impeachment!! Take back the Senate and impeach the …..

odannyboy on November 27, 2013 at 3:06 PM

We’ll have to wait to see just how long the White House is going to delay THAT before we can start making plans. If the lazy stupid bastard were to parade in a medal encrusted military uniform and sword, we’d be like any other third-world dictatorship.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

And the American people say: meh…..

KMC1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM

This is the true downwall of the country. They couldn’t win otherwise..not even close.

Mimzey on November 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

And where are the Republicans standing up and saying “not so fast you rat-eared criminal!”

Seriously, Boehner? McConnell? Where the hell are you???? Oh that’s right all you care about is demonizing Ted Cruz and getting amnesty for the illegals.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Bingo Happy. This is an opportunity to highlight the many special interest “exemptions”, but will they?
Make the rats justify this change, and make them tell people who pays for it.

JusDreamin on November 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Crony communism.

Dhuka on November 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Yeah. Let’s share this over the holidays with our families that unions, which make up less than 20% of work force is getting a pass, but everyone else is getting screwed

ConservativePartyNow on November 27, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Kos update…last week they were ready to slit their wrists until they announced the filibuster bust. Then it was all celebration until about 9am this morning. Now with the small business delay they are back to the wrist option again.

The lefties are panicked about 2014 and nothing more. I saw a bulb blink when one of them asked “if the individual mandate only affects 5% why are they now including small business?” and the reply was “KRUGMAN SAID THE INDIDUAL MANDATE IS ONE OF THE THREE LEGS!!!!111!!”

They are beginning to question each other. Its a start.

DanMan on November 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

This type of cost shifting is the way they are going to keep the ACA going until it becomes the new normal. For those that don’t see why the GOPe has to stand up NOW for repeal or defunding,and instead believe in “let it fail on it’s own” – well, it’s not going to fail on its own if the law can be rewritten for the next few years so as to side step the worst of it’s problems. For those of you like ED,ALLAH, MADDOW, MCONNEL, FRANKEN and KRUGMAN who think that shutting down 15% of the government was a reckless way to repeal a law – please tell me – what plan do you favour? What’s a strategy that’s going to work to end OCare? Or are you conceding that the ACA is the law of the land and just needs some GOP fixes?

This perverts 1/6th of the economy and is perverts our constitution and it will be used to eliminate our individual liberties. There is a small window that America has (if it even does) to get rid of this law. The GOP has to take a stand now or never.

BoxHead1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Every Union Member should be asked over and over and over again why Union Members deserve special exemptions from the Obamacare laws that they worked so hard to inflict on the rest of us.

Find a Union Member and let them know how you feel about these exemptions.

wren on November 27, 2013 at 3:34 PM

How many of these BS rule changes can be implemented until it becomes no longer the law that was passed by congress?

Oxymoron on November 27, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Brayam approved.

This crap gets more ridiculous every day.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Crickets from Mitch McConnell and our other dauntless leaders.

rrpjr on November 27, 2013 at 3:38 PM

For those that don’t see why the GOPe has to stand up NOW for repeal or defunding,and instead believe in “let it fail on it’s own”

……………

BoxHead1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Great points as it will never fail on its own. They will manipulate, borrow , and steal to make sure it doesn’t.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 27, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Find a Union Member and let them know how you feel about these exemptions.

wren on November 27, 2013 at 3:34 PM

In fact, find a union member and invite it to Thanksgiving Dinner so you can have a conversation about Obamacare between the meal and pie!

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Criminal Enterprise.

Plain and simple.

BigWyo on November 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM

May all the unions, obama and all who brung/kept him go directly to Hell. Yes, it’s my Thanksgiving wish. The world w/b so much better.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 3:41 PM

It’s good to be Friends of the Fuhrer.

VorDaj on November 27, 2013 at 3:41 PM

This crap gets more ridiculous every day.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Ridiculous is not the first word that comes to mind. Blatantly political, for example. Criminally actionable? Outrageously offensive?

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Fascist-in-Chief.

rbj on November 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

It’s good to be Friends of the Fuhrer.

VorDaj on November 27, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Yeah, there has got to be a “Hitler grants unions Obamacare exemptions” clip in our future. ;0

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

May all the unions, obama and all who brung/kept him go directly to Hell. Yes, it’s my Thanksgiving wish. The world w/b so much better.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Satan hasn’t exactly lead the most exemplary of lives, but isn’t that a lot to burden even him with?

But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one, the one sinner among us all who had the highest and clearest right to every Christian’s daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first and greatest need, he being among sinners the supremest?
- Mark Twain’s Autobiography

VorDaj on November 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The law was specifically written with many “as the Secretary Determines” and “as the Secretary decides” clauses to accomplish this and other things, with nary a single Republican vote. That is the most important thing to remember at the turkey day table conversation, the Dems own this disaster lock stock and barrel.

Johnnyreb on November 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

It probably won’t be long until we see this in the Federal Register:

The Secretary of Health and Human Services has decreed that all registered donors to Obama For America will receive free health insurance with zero deductibles. All donors to the McCain/Palin campaign or Romney/Ryan campaign must pay the premiums for Gold health insurance, while receiving the coverage for Bronze health insurance plans.

K. Sebelius

Steve Z on November 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Oh, there’s a big surprise! That’s an incredible – I think I’m going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise!

~Iago, from Aladdin….

ladyingray on November 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

A free and honorable people would never stand for this corruption.

paul1149 on November 27, 2013 at 3:56 PM

How long is it going to take for you people to realize that it is not the fact that the Democrats are corrupt but that the Republicans are so incompetent and impotent at stopping them.

(Think Boehner, McConnell, and McCain, the geriatric bubble crew that runs and rules the Republican Party. They enable the massive debt run-up, enable Obamacare and enable poor nuclear bomb deals with terrorist nations.)

No Chop Charlie on November 27, 2013 at 3:57 PM

unions don’t want to pay for other people’s health care? that’s so greedy and selfish. they need to pay their fair share, right??

Sachiko on November 27, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Oh, there’s a big surprise! That’s an incredible – I think I’m going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise!

~Iago, from Aladdin….

ladyingray on November 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

HEH. good to see your post Lady.

ToddPA on November 27, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Will someone please impeach this f**ker?

dpduq on November 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Years ago America was a country that believed in the rule of law.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

In keeping with the Aladdin theme…

..which one of the two in the pic is the
“Street Rat”??

ToddPA on November 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

The hecklers at the fundraiser in SF called for Obama to be a dictator…he’s only obliging them at this point.

unions don’t want to pay for other people’s health care? that’s so greedy and selfish. they need to pay their fair share, right??

Sachiko on November 27, 2013 at 3:57 PM

All are equal, some are just more equal than others.

Athos on November 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Good point.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 27, 2013 at 4:05 PM

This particularly burns me up! I work for a hospital where we’ve been fortunate to have what would be considered a “cadillac” plan (almost as generous as the unions!).

Because of Obamacare’s tax on such plans, they have cancelled that coverage and now offer us coverage “more in line with other businesses”: $1500 deductible. $6000 out of pocket. Higher co-pays and co-insurance.

I know there won’t be much sympathy for my losing such a generous benefit. But it really burns me to know that the president’s cronies don’t face the same hardships!!!!!!

jeanneb on November 27, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Noah Rathman @ Mediaite has a timely name for the wreck that is O’LiarCare.

He calls it “The Macy’s Day Parade of fiascos.”

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM

This perverts 1/6th of the economy and is perverts our constitution and it will be used to eliminate our individual liberties. There is a small window that America has (if it even does) to get rid of this law. The GOP has to take a stand now or never.

BoxHead1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

saw Bill-O mention the CBO has estimated health care expenditures to be at close to $5 trillion/year by 2017. Recall when this was being pushed that they set current HC expenditures at $2.5 trillion and they set the “cost” of going with Obamacare at under $1 trillion over the next decade. All of the language was geared toward bending the cost curve down, which they arbitrarily set at 5% in order to keep the increase under $1 trillion.

Obama and his posse have set the course to control 1/6 that will increase to upwards of 1/4 of the economy with us paying what was sold as a 5% increase to do so.

DanMan on November 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Does the Congress play any part in making the laws anymore?

Axion on November 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Utopian fools

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

If you like your bloody knuckles, you can keep your bloody knuckles.. and your healthcare, too!

/Ain’t it great to be ObamaBot?

Key West Reader on November 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Pitchforks sharpened, tar on the boil, feathers plucked.

neyney on November 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The GOP has to take a stand now or never.

BoxHead1 on November 27, 2013 at 3:33 PM

They had their chance. They. Don’t. Care.

rrpjr on November 27, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Axion on November 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

No.

tngmv on November 27, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Crickets from Mitch McConnell and our other dauntless leaders.

rrpjr on November 27, 2013 at 3:38 PM

“Dauntless” wasn’t the word that passed through my mind; although the word I’m thinking of also begins with “D” and ends with “less”.

squint on November 27, 2013 at 4:47 PM

This crowd is as bad as the old Soviet Union. “As long as you are a member, supporter or donor to THE PARTY, you’ll be okay.

How about that 40% excise tax on “cadillac” plans? Has Big Labor been exempted from that too? I know their health care plans would qualify for that tax.

TarheelBen on November 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Yes, the greedy-union exemption to the Cadillac tax was in the original Obamacare pile of crap as passed in Congress.

slickwillie2001 on November 27, 2013 at 5:04 PM

HEH. good to see your post Lady.

ToddPA on November 27, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Hi, Todd!!! :)

ladyingray on November 27, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Well, this change definitely creates people who are losing money because of it. Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit.

Greg Q on November 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM

although the word I’m thinking of also begins with “D” and ends with “less”.

squint on November 27, 2013 at 4:47 PM

That works.

rrpjr on November 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Some animals are more equal than others… and unions and Democrats are P-I-G-S wallowing in the same slop, but lording it over the others.

dominigan on November 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Oh spare me the outrage, Sen. Thune and the GOp Establishment.

What are you going to do about it? What? Aside talking and releasing statements?

I can afford to talk… I am not an elected official. I can also vote when election roll around.

How about conservatives/tea partiers vote ONLY for those who will not only talk but ACT!

We need more Ted Cruzes….

TheRightMan on November 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Wouldn’t it be just totally awesome if we had a vibrant and viable opposition party?

Mr. Arrogant on November 27, 2013 at 6:52 PM

We’ll have to wait to see just how long the White House is going to delay THAT before we can start making plans. If the lazy stupid bastard were to parade in a medal encrusted military uniform and sword, we’d be like any other third-world dictatorship.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

He wouldn’t put on a uniform. Not his style. In his eyes (and those of his set), not “cool”.

Kevin K. on November 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Bribery pays.

Check the Obamas’ secret bank accounts.

They are so moronic they probably keep the loot in a traceable bank.

profitsbeard on November 28, 2013 at 5:13 AM

The shift will raise the cost of the tax for those who do pay to $44 a year. It had previously been $42.

So now we have a legally defined “injured” class that can bring a class action lawsuit against the Administration.

Somewhere there must be a group of lawyers salivating for January 1st to get here (the official date that “injury” begins, thus lawsuits can then be filed).

Carnac on November 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Impeach the bast**d!

ultracon on November 28, 2013 at 8:37 AM

I don’t get the “capitalism” part. This is just the ruling party rewarding its members in return for future favors.

virgo on November 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Teacher’s pet!

MN J on November 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I know you are capturing this post illegally Obama, so listen up. I will not purchase your bulls**t insurance, nor will I pay any fine. I consider myself exempt from your illegal crap and I am a free American. So kiss me square on the azz.

F_This on November 28, 2013 at 9:09 PM