Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes.
Buried in rules issued last week is the disclosure that the administration will propose exempting “certain self-insured, self-administered plans” from the law’s temporary reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.
That’s a description that applies to many Taft-Hartley union plans acting as their own insurance company and claims processor, said Edward Fensholt, a senior vice president at Lockton Cos., a large insurance broker.
Unions, a key Obama ally, have increasingly criticized the Affordable Care Act as threatening the generous medical plans held by many members.
Eliminating the reinsurance fee was one of several resolutions adopted at the AFL-CIO’s September convention, along with giving union plans access to ACA tax credits for lower-income members.
In September the White House said the law disallowed health-law tax credits for union members on top of their company insurance. Now the administration seems to be moving toward part — but not all — of what labor wants on the reinsurance fee.
Although it’s too early to tell whether the Department of Health and Human Services will give union plans all of what they want on the fee, last week’s language “is how HHS often breaks controversial regulatory news,” benefits lawyer R. Pepper Crutcher, Jr. wrote last week. It's not known when the administration will put out a new regulation on
Unions get exemptions. Catholics get a mandate to pay for contraception/abortifacients that violates their conscience and their religious liberty.
But no, none of this is political.
Welcome to Obama's America.