Sen. Ron Johnson: Reinsurance Tax Exemption 'Payback' to Unions

Image: Sen. Ron Johnson: Reinsurance Tax Exemption 'Payback' to Unions

Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 10:16 PM

By Greg Richter

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President Barack Obama's plan to exempt self-insured groups from the reinsurance tax is a payback to unions who supported Obamacare, says Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Johnson is a co-sponsor of the Union Tax Fair Act, which seeks to prevent Obama from making the exemption.

"This is a political payback. This is trying to rally his base, which he is losing, and it's just simple cronyism," Johnson said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."

The Affordable Care Act reinsuriance tax was placed on insurance plans for first three years of the law and was intended to raise $25 billion to cover the cost of patients with pre-existing conditions being covered for the first time.

The exemption would not take place in 2014, but would kick in for 2015 and 2016. Unions would be big beneficiaries.

Unions say it benefits other groups, too, and also doesn't go far enough. Union groups supported Obamacare, but complained earlier this year that their members would see salaries cut and jobs lost if nothing was done to fix "unintended consequences" of the law.

Fox News reports that the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that the fee will be higher for other plans that still have to pay it if Obama grants the exemption.

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