IRS Union: Don't Put Tax Collectors Into Obamacare's Health Exchanges!

credit: alykat / Foter / CC BY-NCcredit: alykat / Foter / CC BY-NCThe Internal Revenue Service is responsible for enforcing multiple provisions in Obamacare, including a slew of revenue-raising taxes and fees, the individual mandate, and the disbursement of insurance subsidies for insurance purchased through the exchanges. But an almost too-obvious ironic twist, its employees don't want to buy insurance through those exchanges themselves. The National Treasury Employees Union, a labor group that represents IRS workers, has set up a form letter for union members to send to their congressional representatives urging legislators not to pass legislation proposed by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan) that could shift tax workers out of their current federal benefits and into the exchanges. 

The best case you can make here is the one that's been made with regard to congressional staffers, who have also voiced complaints about a requirement in the health law that could shift them out of their federal benefits and into the exchanges. Their argument is that it's unfair to create a special class of workers who have to drop their current, employer-provided insurance and go through the exchanges. 

Even framed this way, however, this does not exactly inspire great confidence in the law. How appealing can it be if the government workers charged with managing many of its operations are so worried about having to participate in its key feature? And what about the 7-8 million individuals the Congressional Budget Office expects will be shifted out of their current, employer-provided health coverage as a result of the law? If it is concerning that IRS workers might lose their employer-tied insurance and be moved into Obamacare's exchanges, then surely it is also concerning that those other individuals, most of whom do not work for the IRS, would end up making a similar transition. 

But that's not what you're hearing from the IRS union, which is only concerned with itself. The revenue agency's workers are happy enough to enforce the law's provisions on others, but worried enough about having to participate in its biggest component that they are organizing complaints against the very possibility of being required to do so.

One obvious solution (though I am certain the law's supporters won't embrace it) would be to eliminate all requirements for anyone to participate in any part of the law by repealing it entirely. But if the law is to go forward, then federal workers should be required to participate in it whenever possible, even, and perhaps especially, if it is an inconvenience. 

(H/T Joel Gerhke at The Washington Examiner.)

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  • John||

    Congress will fuck the staffers. Everyone hates them anyway. If there is a more unsympathetic and disliked group of people than Hill Rats, besides violent criminals, you would be hard pressed to name them. Federal workers, however, have numbers and money. I would be shocked if they get thrown onto the exchanges.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Actually, I think it'll be the other way around, because it's the staffers who actually write the bills and tell the congrwesscritters what they think they wrote, and the congresscritters deal with them every day, so they're like pets - who do errands.

  • John||

    But everyone hates staffers. Exempting the staffers has the same political cost as exempting themselves. They may view them as pets. But they certainly are not going to use any political capital to save them.

  • Juice||

    It's weird. When I first moved to DC I met some staffers who worked for Byron Dorgan at a dive bar that I guess was their clique hangout (Trusty's). After only about 30 minutes interacting with them I was thinking, "WTF is wrong with these people?" After another 30 minutes I started to have violent thoughts toward them and had to leave. I thought it was just them, but maybe it's all Hill staffers.

  • NoVAHockey||

    what they write is in consultation with guys like me on K-street.

  • John||

    Someone has to help them. My God are most of them stupid.

  • NoVAHockey||

    that's what i point out when people say the "works so hard and late hours." sure, becuase they're fixing the fuck ups from earlier in the day/week/month

  • John||

    They are all idiot sons and daughters. If you are some big donor, you are too busy running your business or counting your millions to bother with a job in Washington. You just want the various Congress critters you just bought to regulate your competitors out of business or ensure you get that next big government contract.

    But when junior gets out of college and you really don't want him or her hanging around waiting to fuck things up and costing you money, you call those Congressman and get junior a job. And that is how nearly all the Hill positions are filled. And that is why they are nearly universally stupid. It really is the upper class twit of the year club up there.

  • kinnath||

    Fuck every single one of the public union employees that have even the remotest connection to the implementation of Obamacare.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm sad. Our connection to the implementation is that we have to manage the state's computers that handle heath insurance for state employees. I don't see how that's enough to get blamed for this. Besides, the law in New York pretty much emasculated the Public Employee Unions. We can't even beat inflation with our paychecks. Negotiations start at cuts and have to be argued up to zeroes. We don't even have the power to strike.

  • John||

    The public employee sector unions are a huge part of the Dem base and their funding. I don't think the party would be viable without them. So I don't see anyway they throw them into the exchanges. If they do, it will have a catastrophic effect on the party infrastructure.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I want the right to drag people out of the political office at the union HQ and shoot them in the street, because the Dems are more anti-public union in NY than the Reps. From what I hear, our best years were under Pataki, but they keep funding blue candidates, who scapegoat us and try to bleed us dry by attrition and paycuts to win points with the entitlement class and to argue for hiring their friends' consulting firms to do the work for three times the cost. (I did the math for my job versus the cost of a consultant to do it, as I have access to that documentation.)

  • kinnath||

    Move.

    There are great opportunities in the heartland.

  • John||

    Such are the wages of being a cheap date. The Dems only do that because they know there is no political price for doing so.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, see: inner city public education, inner city police abuse.

  • kinnath||

    Because public sector unions should not be immune to the ass-fucking that all us private sector employees are getting next year.

  • UnCivilServant||

    My premiums have already gone up to 250% of 2010 levels and are on track to keep rising with yours. Generalizations tend to be inaccurate, especially with the variances from state to state.

  • John||

    Sure they shouldn't be. But with their political clout they will be. Or if they are not, the Dems are going to pay a hell of a price.

    But, no one says everyone has to go in the exchanges. Not everyone will. So why single out the public employees? You don't like them? Okay. They don't like you. Are you okay with the government saying "we don't like kinneth and he and he only will be fucked up the ass every day?" You might want to think before you endorse using government policy for revenge. Revenge tends to go both ways.

  • kinnath||

    "we don't like kinneth and he and he only will be fucked up the ass every day?"

    status quo

  • John||

    No it is really not. You just think it is. And even if it were, you just endorsed it. So either live by some principles or stop bitching about other people not living by them.

  • kinnath||

    lol

  • sgs||

    damn, john, it's not often you see him at a loss for words, nice job

  • kinnath||

    I suppose that's one interpretation.

  • kinnath||

    We don't even have the power to strike

    Get a real job somewhere else then.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm working on it. New York sucks, but heat kills, so I can't move south of the mason-dixon as I'd be dead from heatstroke in a year.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    There are plenty of states above the Mason-Dixon.

  • John||

    Sure. And the job market is fabulous everywhere.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's fucking great in ND. You can't go there without tripping over a job. Even unskilled folk can get a very good job there now.

    It isn't a job that most people want, but a particular job. News flash: no one is entitled to a specific job.

  • UnCivilServant||

    But I have a job in my field, I'm only going to leave it for an upgrade in my field, espeically since IT isn't going away anytime soon. I may not be 'entitled' to a specific job, but why should I take an unskilled job when I'm already in a skilled job? Because outside of IT, all I'm qualified for is unskilled.

    Though if I find an IT opening in the Dakotas, I'm totally moving there.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure all those mining and mineral companies in ND have IT departments.

  • wareagle||

    But I have a job in my field, I'm only going to leave it for an upgrade in my field, espeically since IT isn't going away anytime soon.

    and that was the point where any sympathy I had for you vanished. That line makes you sound like just another griefer wanting his pony.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm simply applying the very basic calculus that underlies most of your economic arguments for moving. What produces the best results as a financial agreement from where I stand. I don't need your sympathy and the people constantly crooing 'Mooooove' seem to think people can magically transform their skillset, or should mold themselves to whatever is in the target location, even when they already have a marketable skillet.

  • sgs||

    "but why should I take an unskilled job when I'm already in a skilled job? "

    Didn't this discussion start out with you whining about something?

    That should answer your question.

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, this discussion started by Kinnath saying "Fuck every single one of the public union employees that have even the remotest connection to the implementation of Obamacare." which I objected to because it bore an implication of being justified by stereotype and the discussion wandered.

  • sgs||

    "No, this discussion started by Kinnath saying"

    No, that's not the discussion we're having now.

    So yes, the discussion did start out with you whining about something.

    And should answer your question.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I may not be 'entitled' to a specific job, but why should I take an unskilled job when I'm already in a skilled job? Because outside of IT, all I'm qualified for is unskilled.

    I wasn't suggesting that you take an unskilled job, but that even unskilled workers have no issues with finding jobs in ND right now. Imagine what a guy with IT experience could do if an unskilled worker can walk away with a very good job just by showing up.

  • UnCivilServant||

    It sounded like "take whatever's laying about".

  • sgs||

    See, that's funny, to me it sounded like "stop whining and making excuses"

  • John||

    Then move there. And leave Uncivilservant alone.

  • robc||

    North Dakota is hiring.

  • PRX||

    don't do it uncivilservant. they expect results in the private sector.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I produce results. It's part of the reason the bathering repeat of stereotypes pisses me off.

  • sgs||

    "I produce results. "

    All I see is a lot of whining.

  • sgs||

    By the way Uncivil, I get it. You'll always have an excuse...ahem...reason for your position.

    Take this as your opportunity to avoid discussing this with me further, as I'm so impossibly tired of your kind that there really is no point.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Try starting a discussion. It might allow for the actual continuance of one.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    You channeling shriek today, sgs? Man, take the hostility down a notch.

  • Zeb||

    We can't even beat inflation with our paychecks.

    Neither can a lot of private sector workers. I haven't had a raise in 5 fucking years. So you guys can suck it. (Nothing personal, I know you are just doing a job and somebody is going to do it. But you chose to work for the government and know full well that the legislature can change the terms of your employment as they see fit.)

  • Jordan||

    IRS agents should be sent to Cuba for their healthcare needs.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    All of these Dem-supporting agencies claiming they're too good to eat their own dog food is fucking delicious.

    Fuck the IRS. If I have to abide by Obamacare, so do you, assholes.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The National Treasury Employees Union, a labor group that represents IRS workers, has set up a form letter for union members to send to their congressional representatives urging legislators not to pass legislation that could shift tax workers out of their current federal benefits and into the exchanges.

    Forcing everyone who gets a government paycheck to participate in any scheme like this should be a precondition of bringing it to the floor for a vote.

  • John||

    The exchanges are essentially a welfare service for people who don't have insurance. Should all government employees get food stamps? No one is forced to buy from the exchanges. You can always get it from your employer or buy it on your own or pay the penaltax, which is what most people will do.

    So the analogy really doesn't work. It would be like saying "everyone in the computer industry or who works as a chef can no longer get health insurance from their employer or buy it anywhere but an exchange." It is fun to laugh at as revenge. But it is a pretty disturbing precedent and one that you will regret setting.

  • PRX||

    if you need a good reason for putting public employees on the exchanges try FYTW.

  • John||

    Sure. But then don't bitch when that reason is used on you. If you want to be on the same moral level as a typical cop, have fun. But I don't think you are going to like it as well as you think you will.

  • PRX||

    your getting cause and effect backwards in why I say FYTW. no, I don't like it, so FYTW.

  • John||

    Ah okay.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The bill:

    SECTION 1.
    HEALTH PLANS CREATED UNDER PPACA OR OFFERED THROUGH EXCHANGES TO BE ONLY HEALTH PLANS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE AVAILABLE TO PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

    It gives federal employees the same options anybody has that doesn't get employee provided health insurance. There is nothing "disturbing" about it.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Actually, reading it again, all it does is not carve out an exception for federal employees that the rest of the country doesn't have. The Feds can provide the same shitty options as any other employer.

  • John||

    It gives federal employees the same options anybody has that doesn't get employee provided health insurance.

    Except that federal employees have employee provided health insurance.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    HEALTH PLANS CREATED UNDER PPACA OR OFFERED THROUGH EXCHANGES TO BE ONLY HEALTH PLANS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE AVAILABLE...

    And nothing changes about that except federal employees get the same options as anybody without a waiver gets.

  • R C Dean||

    The exchanges are essentially a welfare service for people who don't have insurance.

    Not necessarily. They are only welfare if you flunk the income test.

    For federales, I doubt many will flunk the income test. If an organization is going to sponsor a product or service, much less make it frickin' mandatory, I see no problem with requiring that organization's staff to use the product or service.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The exchanges are essentially a welfare service for people who don't have insurance.

    Yeah, they're actually just the only market an individual can buy compliant insurance without a waiver aren't they?

  • Sevo||

    Somehow, I get the feeling it'll be me and you in the exchange, and I'm not sure about me.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Should all government employees get food stamps?

    That a Fosdick level bait and switch.

    No. You motherfuckers should pay for your food. And you should pay for your health care. That's what that paycheck is for.

  • John||

    And you should pay for your health care. That's what that paycheck is for.

    Are you retarded Brooks? My health insurance is part of my paycheck. You know, like most everyone else in the country.

    If you want to think about it and try again, feel free. But that that is a sorry ass effort.

  • Zeb||

    You are absolutely right that the health insurance is part of your compensation. But if your employer wants to change what plans are available to you, that is there business. And if your employer is the government, they can change the contract any way they want to.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    My health insurance is part of my paycheck. You know, like most everyone else in the country.

    Really?

    But don't worry, wave your hands and pretend these are not the droids market distortions I'm looking for.

  • John||

    Oh my God. Yes, the Libertarian unicorn of how health insurance is market distorting. I think that argument is kept around so people don't think Libertarians are too smart or susceptible to believing stupid things.

    There is nothing market distorting about pooling risk and setting a fixed cost in place of an unknown cost, you half wit. Healthcare could never be fully pay per service because you have no idea what your cost is going to be from year to year and thus can't plan for it. All health insurance does is in return for a fee give everyone a a way to budget for health costs.

    And don't give me the equally retarded argument about how it drives up costs because you are spending other people's money. Insurance companies don't print their own money and have every incentive to negotiate the lowest price on everything.

    The only thing that distorts the health care market is government regulations of things like who can and cannot provide service, the FDA and other such. Health insurance does no such thing.

    No go hold your head in shame for being such a fucking economic illiterate and forcing me to waste my time trying to explain such basic concepts to you. That is just fucking pathetic Brooks. Pathetic.

  • sgs||

    "There is nothing market distorting about pooling risk and setting a fixed cost in place of an unknown cost, you half wit."

    Flattening a curve is market distortion.

  • Zeb||

    Or is it just part of the market? Depends on the level of government interference, I suppose.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Prison guards don't eat the swill fed to prisoners and the diet of house negroes more closely resembled their master's than that of the field slaves.

    Why would it be any different with ObamaCare?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    We keep hearing reassurances from the CBO and administration that the exchanges will lower insurance prices, right? So unless they're in favor of wasting taxpayer money, there should be no objections to having federal employees use the exchanges.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The whole thing is a red herring

    SECTION 1.
    HEALTH PLANS CREATED UNDER PPACA OR OFFERED THROUGH EXCHANGES TO BE ONLY HEALTH PLANS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE AVAILABLE TO PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

    It doesn't "throw" anybody onto the exchanges.

  • John||

    Yes it does. It takes the existing health plans, eliminates them, and puts people into the exchanges. It is no different than saying

    "HEALTH PLANS CREATED BY THE WIDGET INDUSTRY OR OFFERED BY THE WIDGET INDUSTRY MUST BE EXCHANGES"

    By your logic such a provision wouldn't be throwing people into the exchanges. Bullshit.

    Why single out federal employees other than out of spite? And if they can be singled out, who can't be? Principles do matter even when they benefit people you don't like.

  • sgs||

    John is clearly deeply afraid of losing his gravy train.

  • sgs||

    "Why single out federal employees other than out of spite? "

    I can think of at least one reason.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Because they work for the government. Since the employer determines the type of health insurance to be provided as part of the compensation package, then the employer has the right to say "we'll be moving from insurance plan A to insurance plan B (healthcare exchanges) next year."

  • CampingInYourPark||

    No, it should only affect the rest of us. It's okay if private citizens are "singled out" because their insurance plan doesn't provide prenatal care or condoms. This is poor gov't employees you're talking about here. They can't cope but you can.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Why single out federal employees other than out of spite?

    They aren't singled out any more than the millions of citizens that have to adjust their health insurance to comply with the law. Sure, you don't want to change anything about your health insurance. Guess what? Neither do a lot of the rest of us, but we will be anyway.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Yes it does. It takes the existing health plans, eliminates them

    WTF do you think it did for anybody else that had insurance that doesn't comply with this BS?

  • Zeb||

    If it is still provided by your employer then you have not been thrown into the exchanges. The exchanges are for people who need to buy insurance individually.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    All health insurance does is in return for a fee give everyone a a way to budget for health costs.

    Further proof the definition of "insurance" has been so debased as to make the term worse than useless.

  • John||

    You have no idea what insurance means do you? That whole risk pooling concept is just Greek to you.

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