September 13-- This week, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss co-sponsored the Union Bailout Prevention Act, which would prevent the Obama administration from granting unions’ request for special Obamacare premium tax subsidies for union members’ health care plans.
Isakson serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees health care and he also serves as the top Republican on the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, which oversees labor unions.
The bill, S.1487, introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., comes in response to reports that the Obama administration is working on regulations to address criticisms raised by unions about the health reform law. If the Obama administration grants this special treatment, union members with health plans known as “Taft-Hartley plans” 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.
While many believe Section 1301 of Obamacare clearly states that multi-employer union health plans are not a qualified health plan – and union employees in these plans are not eligible for premium tax credits – unions are still seeking a way around this provision. This bill would ensure that that the administration does not provide a special fix to Obamacare to appease union pleas.
“This unfair provision that allows labor unions to receive special treatment is yet another reason why I have voted nearly sixty times to repeal, replace or dismantle Obamacare,” said Isakson. “The American people should be outraged that their tax dollars are going to give President Obama’s biggest campaign supporters an Obamacare bailout. I will continue to fight every day to repeal and replace this terribly flawed law with a step-by-step approach that makes health care more accessible and affordable.”
“This administration’s blatant favoritism toward labor organizations undermines the hard work and efforts of small business owners and non-union individuals across America,” said Chambliss. “This is yet another reason why I support a full repeal of Obamacare. While we must address the skyrocketing costs of health care, we must do so for all Americans, not just labor-union members. I hope President Obama will realize that taxing many to pay for the privileges of a few is unacceptable.”
Isakson and Chambliss have voted to defund or repeal Obamacare almost sixty times, and they continue to support its full repeal. Chambliss and Isakson are both co-sponsors of numerous legislative proposals that would repeal the law in full or provisions in the law, including both the Obamacare Repeal Act, S.177, and, more recently, the Defund Obamacare Act, S.1292.