Thirty-one Republican senators are urging the White House to reject union “demands” that ObamaCare subsidies be extended to some workers that already have coverage through their jobs, saying this is blatantly prohibited under the law.
The senators fired off a letter to President Obama Thursday following a newspaper report that unions — worried that the law’s other requirements would drive up the price of health care plans — want lower-paid workers to have access to federal subsidies.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration dismissed the idea early on of giving aid to workers in union-sponsored policies. But a Treasury official, in the same article, said the issue is “the subject of pending regulations.”
This raised a red flag for senators.
“We respectfully, but strongly, disagree,” the senators wrote. “The statement made by Treasury simply ignores the letter of the law.”
A number of provisions in the health care law threaten to raise the cost of coverage, including the elimination of caps on benefits. The unions, echoing statements by employers across the country, voiced concern that the increase in up-front coverage costs could lead unionized employers to drop health coverage.
But the senators said workers with an employer-based plan simply cannot, under the law, receive subsidies intended for those who don’t get insurance through their jobs.
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