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No Obamacare exemptions for Big Labor? We’ll see

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By Doug Powers  •  September 14, 2013 02:34 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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The Obamacare rollout has been an uncomfortable one for Big Labor. Congress passed the law with their blessing, and now they’re finding out what’s in it, and they want out. The White House issued its first response to union concerns. Try not to point and laugh:

The Obama administration on Friday appeared to rule out giving unions a special deal to offer their workers extra ObamaCare subsidies, but left the door open to other changes after a private White House meeting with labor leaders who are concerned over the law.

Earlier in the day, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had urged the White House to act within a week to address labor unions’ concerns over ObamaCare.

The sit-down with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden came amid concerns from Republicans that Obama might be preparing to offer the unions a special deal to assuage their concerns.

But on Friday night, the White House said the Treasury Department had issued a letter “making clear that it does not see a legal way for individuals in multi-employer group health plans to receive individual market tax credits as well as the favorable tax treatment associated with employer-provided health insurance at the same time.”

I’ll be waiting this one out in the gray area between schadenfreude and skepticism. There’s absolutely no way those who were at the front lines in ramming Obamacare through Congress should be exempted from some of its provisions, but at the same time it’s unlikely the Obama administration and the Democrats won’t desperately search for a way to help ease the self-inflicted pain of some of their greatest election-year allies.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Health care, New York Times, Paul Krugman