IRS employee union doesn't want to be covered under Obamacare
A proposal by House Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp to place all federal employees - including congress and their staffs - under Obamacare is being met with stiff resistance from the IRS employee union charged with enforcing it.
National Treasury Employees Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama's health care law.
The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says "I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act."
The NTEU represents 150,000 federal employees overall, including most of the nearly 100,000 IRS workers.
Like most other federal workers, IRS employees currently get their health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which also covers members of Congress.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp offered the bill in response to reports of congressional negotiations that would exempt lawmakers and their staff from Obamacare.
"Camp has long believed every American ought to be exempt from the law, which is why he supports full repeal," Camp spokeswoman Allie Walker said.
"If the Obamacare exchanges are good enough for the hardworking Americans and small businesses the law claims to help, then they should be good enough for the president, vice president, Congress and federal employees," she also said.
"The NTEU represents Internal Revenue Service employees who have the responsibility to enforce much of the health insurance law, especially in terms of collecting the taxes and distributing subsidies that finance the whole system," said Paul Kersey, director of Labor Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
"IRS agents will also collect data and apply penalties for those who fail to comply with many of Obamacare's requirements," Kersey said.
This is an argument that needs to be made, especially when you consider the fact that some of the biggest boosters for Obamacare coverage for everyone else - unions - refuse to get their health insurance the same way. If it's such a great deal for the middle class and small businessmen, why not embrace it?
Camp's proposal isn't going anywhere. Some Republican lawmakers claim that they would lose valuable staff if their employees were forced into the state insurance exchanges. The real problem is that federal health benefits are just too good to give up.