Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

January 29, 2014, 02:33 pm

Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

By Kevin Bogardus

Leaders of major labor unions say they are “bitterly disappointed” with the regulatory changes made to ObamaCare, arguing they do little to help workers who are suffering under the law.

In a letter dated Monday, leaders of major unions told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that proposed regulations for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would do nothing to help union health plans.

They said the administration has failed to address their concerns about worker health plans, and the healthcare law threatens to lower living standards for the working class.

“It would be a sad irony if the signature legislative accomplishment of an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers,” the labor leaders wrote. Continue reading “Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs”

How Washington is killing the economy

How Washington is killing the economy

By: Ben White
October 25, 2013 05:01 AM EDT

The U.S. Capitol is shown. | AP PhotoThe latest round of fiscal drama has sputtered to a temporary close, but the routine crises have one clear victim: the U.S. economy, which is once again losing altitude. And for the third year in a row, Washington gets much of the blame.

There’s not much hope for a quick turnaround.

The most recent slowdown — highlighted by poor job growth, softening corporate earnings and decimated confidence — comes just as Republicans and Democrats prepare to square off in a fresh fight over the federal budget with another potential shutdown looming in January and a renewed debt ceiling crisis possible in February.

Washington’s drag on the economy now springs from a multiplying array of sources, including the constant threat of devastating fiscal crisis, the blunt nature of the sequester spending cuts, the troubled roll-out of Obamacare and the now deeply strained relations with key economic allies over clandestine surveillance allegations.

(PHOTOS: House hearing on Obamacare website) Continue reading “How Washington is killing the economy”

Reid: Senate will ‘reject’ House CR plan

Reid: Senate will ‘reject’ House CR plan

By: Burgess Everett and Manu Raju
September 28, 2013 01:58 PM EDT

Harry Reid is pictured. | AP PhotoSenate Democrats will reject the House government funding bill on the eve of a shutdown, seeking to pressure House Republicans to approve their plan to keep government running past Tuesday.

The House vote on Saturday on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 15, delay Obamacare’s individual mandate and repeal the medical device tax is “pointless,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who added in a blistering statement that “the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.”

“To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax. After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown,” Reid said in a statement. Continue reading “Reid: Senate will ‘reject’ House CR plan”

House Republicans Appear Ready to Retreat, Easing Shutdown Fears

House Republicans Appear Ready to Retreat, Easing Shutdown Fears

"We're closer to the deadline, so folks start thinking differently as our options narrow," explained Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota.

“We’re closer to the deadline, so folks start thinking differently as our options narrow,” explained Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota. Charles Dharapak/AP

Conservative Republicans in the House appear ready to back off their demands that the short-term funding resolution Congress must pass to avoid a government shutdown also defund or delay Obamacare.

In a shift that could spare John Boehner a damaging uprising from his majority’s right wing, conservatives have begun to acknowledge their lack of leverage in the funding debate and are now coalescing around the House speaker’s preferred strategy of forcing the White House to accept health-law changes by holding the debt ceiling hostage.

Still, Republicans are searching for some concessions that might allow them to escape the debate over the continuing resolution with a scaled-down policy victory. Continue reading “House Republicans Appear Ready to Retreat, Easing Shutdown Fears”

Congress, FEHBP and ObamaCare

Congress, FEHBP and ObamaCare

Back in 2010, as the health care reform debate was raging on, Senate Republicans proposed legislative language requiring lawmakers to drop their insurance coverage in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and enter the newly created exchange market.

The proposal was a political gambit, attempting to force Democrats to cast an embarrassing vote to opt out of one of the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions. Democrats called the bluff, however, and the amendment passed easily.

Three years later, members of Congress and their staffers are faced with the reality of losing FEHBP coverage. Continue reading “Congress, FEHBP and ObamaCare”