Prominent IRS Worker’s Union Opposed to Obamacare Amendment
H.R. 1780 is a proposed bill that would require federal employees, including the President of the United States, to use only healthcare exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). The act is known to many as “Obamacare.”
In response to the proposed bill The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is urging its members to protest the passage of H.R. 1780. NTEU is one of the largest unions representing IRS employees. Their chief concern is that passage of the bill would restrict IRS employees to the same health plans that congress is currently restricted to. These are plans created under PPACA, and health care exchanges established under PPACA.
Short of agreeing with NTEU’s position, Daniel Werfel, the IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, stated that he would rather not go through a change in health care plans. His lack of support for the changes H.R. 1780 may bring is being widely reported as opposition to Obamacare. When pressed about his reaction the NTEU’s position at a Ways and Means Commission Hearing on August 1st, Werfel stated that IRS employees were “probably in a better position” to keep the coverage they already had.
As expected, Congressional Republicans are rallying to the support of NTEU. Republican support for Obamacare has been low since its enactment in 2010, and lawmakers such as Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is taking NTEU’s position as an opportunity to draw attention to the lack of public support for Obamacare. In a recent prepared statement Senator Cornyn said “Count the head of the IRS among the growing list of folks that … don’t want any part of it.”
On August 1st, the same day of Werfel’s statement, President Obama nominated John Koshkinen for the currently open position of IRS commissioner. If accepted as Commission for the IRS, it’s expected that Koshkinen will replace Werfel.