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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Committee Expands Oversight of ObamaCare Carve Outs for Union Leaders

U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) today issued the following joint statement after expanding oversight of the Obama administration’s unilateral attempts to address union concerns with the health care law: 

The Obama administration seems determined to shield its union allies from the devastating consequences of the president’s health care law while leaving every other American out in the cold. As he begins the latest push to sell a fatally flawed law, will the president discuss the special deals he is crafting for union bosses? The American people deserve the facts and it’s time for the administration to come clean. 

BACKGROUND: On October 30th the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final regulation addressing a number of issues regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The regulation expressed the department’s intent to exempt through future rulemaking certain “self-insured, self-administered plans” from paying the transitional reinsurance fee. Under PPACA, the fee is supposed to reimburse insurance companies for providing coverage to high-risk individuals. While insurers and employers are required to pay the fee, the October 30th regulation suggests HHS may shield multiemployer or union health care plans from the fee. 

The HHS statement follows other reported efforts to stem growing union frustration with the president’s health care law. In an article titled, “Sources: Administration Working on Rules to Address Unions’ ACA Concerns,” Inside Health Policy reported on a regulation related to PPACA that “vanished” from the Office of Management and Budget’s  website. In September the Education and the Workforce Committee requested information on the missing regulation. In response materials, the Department of Labor (DOL) described the regulatory posting as an “error,” yet failed to provide documents or communications to substantiate their claim.  

In letters to DOL and HHS, Reps. Kline and Roe are renewing their request for documents and communications regarding the missing regulation, as well as information surrounding a future reinsurance fee regulation.  

To read the letter to DOL, click here.  

To read the letter to HHS, click here

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