Amid reporting that the White House is considering appeasing growing union concerns regarding ObamaCare, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today introduced the Union Bailout Prevention Act to prevent the Obama administration from granting unions' request for special ObamaCare premium tax subsidies for union members with health plans known as Taft-Hartley plans. If the Obama administration grants this special treatment, union members would receive taxpayer-subsidized premium tax credits on top of generous union plans that already receive the employer tax exclusion, ultimately forcing taxpayers to double-subsidize union members' 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."
In order to be eligible to receive premium tax credits under ObamaCare, an individual must enroll in a "qualified health plan." While many believe that Section 1301 of ObamaCare clearly states that multi-employer union health plans are not a qualified health plan, and consequently, union employees in these plans are not eligible for premium tax credits, unions are seeking a way around this language. Thune's bill would make it abundantly clear that there is no way for the administration to provide a special fix to appease union pleas.