Obama administration denies labor’s request for health care waiver

Ezra Klein
The Washington Post

Organized labor was one of the Obama administration’s most important allies during the passage of the Affordable Care Act. But more recently, some unions have been among the law’s loudest critics.

A particular issue of contention has been so-called “Taft-Hartley plans” — multi-employer health-care plans that unions run, and that aren’t eligible for subsidies under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. The plans cover about 20 million Americans, and the government treats them as employer-based health-care plans for tax purposes…

…A senior administration official tells me that the administration “does not see a legal way for individuals in multiemployer group health plans to receive individual market tax credits as well as the favorable tax treatment associated with employer-provided health insurance at the same time.” A Treasury Department letter is being released that lays out the administration’s reasoning in more detail.

What the White House is willing to do is work with unions to convert their plans into qualified insurance plans that follow the rules of the marketplaces and so can qualify for subsidies in them. “The Administration will work with multiemployer plans and other non-profit plans and encourage them to offer coverage through the Marketplace, on an equal footing, to create new, high-quality, affordable options for all Americans,” the official says.

Some unions are looking into that idea, but they’re not necessarily happy about it. It means giving up the advantages they get by being associated with employers, and it will entail significant disruption for their members…


Read the entire article at The Washington Post.


H/T Twitchy where there is more.





Update:   Reid Defends Obamacare Exemption for Congress: “That’s What the Law Says”

Reid said the Republicans and critics are just using the issue as a “diversion” to “try and embarrass the president.”



Update 2Government Seeking To Include “Social And Behavioral Data” In Health Records It Can Access

Just so our doctors can offer us better care, no worries here…

Via WFB: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require health care providers to include “social and behavioral” data in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and to link patient’s records to public health departments, it was announced last week…



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