On Monday, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, introduced the Union Bailout Prevention Act to block the Obama administration from granting requests for special ObamaCare premium tax subsidies for union members with health insurance plans known as Taft-Hartley plans.
The proposed legislation comes as the White House has been reported to be considering a way to offer ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies – which were originally intended for the uninsured – to labor union members who already have employer-sponsored health plans.
“Despite championing ObamaCare’s passage in 2010, union leaders are now awaking to the ugly reality of ObamaCare that most Americans have predicted all along, including higher health care costs,” said Thune. “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. 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.”
Under ObamaCare’s regulations, an individual must enroll in a “qualified health plan” in order to be eligible to receive premium tax credits. Union leaders have been searching for a way around Section 1301 of the health care legislation that states that multi-employer union health plans (Taft-Hartley plans) are not a qualified health plan, and as a result, union employees participating in these plans are not eligible for premium tax credits.
Thune’s bill would make it clear the Obama administration cannot provide a special “fix” to ObamaCare to satisfy the unions.