Issues

Thune: ‘Every American Ought to be Outraged’ at Obamacare Tax Break for Unions

'This is cronyism at its worst'

Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) called out the Obama administration for an "outrageous" Obamacare tax exemption for certain unions that he says will be passed on to the American people.

"Every American ought to be outraged," he said. "This is cronyism at its worst. Basically, what the president said was that he and his friends are above the law, because there is a reinsurance tax in Obamacare that's designed to apply to all self-insured plans. And what the president did is he waived that for certain, self-insured, self-administered plans, namely unions, so they don't have to pay that tax. And because the tax was designed to raise a certain amount of revenue, that means everybody else has to pay a higher tax."

Unions have been one of the most surprising and vociferous Obamacare critics. The strongly Democratic groups have written lawmakers demanding changes to the law that had, among other things, redefined a full work week as 30 hours.

Now, Thune said, Obama has given in, partially, to their demands and the cost will be borne by those not fortunate enough to wield union influence.

"The tax was designed to absorb the cost of people with pre-existing conditions," he said. "Well, when you exempt a big group of people like they have with the unions, what that means is other employers, charities, faith-based organizations end up having to pay a higher tax. So what they have done is they have shifted this so that everybody else is out in the cold. They have left everybody else out holding the bag while a lot of unions have made out like bandits."