American Federation of Teachers Said Obamacare Would ‘Create Chaos’

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The American Federation of Teachers labor union warned about the potential disastrous effects of Obamacare shortly before the law was implemented.

As Obamacare comes under scrutiny again in the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell case, records reveal that even one of President Obama’s vocal labor supporters feared disaster.

In never-before-reported March 2013 comments submitted to regulations.gov, AFT generally supported the health reform law but expressed fear that an aspect of Obamacare “would create chaos in the insurance market.”

“The proposed rule requires employers to offer affordable health coverage to full-time employees and their children up to age 26 in order to avoid a shared responsibility penalty,” AFT director of legislation Kristor W. Cowan said in the comments. “However, no penalty would be assessed on employers who fail to offer coverage to spouses of full-time employees. Spouses with no offer of employer-sponsored coverage could be eligible for exchange premium tax credits.”

“While this provision may aid spouses who could access exchange subsidies, it could also harm members with affordable family coverage by encouraging their employers to withdraw offers of coverage for spouses. In addition, this proposed spousal carve-out would create chaos in the insurance market, which does not generally offer multiple insurance products to individual families. These issues are of great concern to the AFT,” Cowan wrote.

“To remedy this situation, the AFT asks that affordability determinations be based on the cost of family coverage in instances where the employee has selected family coverage.”

AFT did not return a request for comment by press time.

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