ObamaCare might create headaches for volunteer fire departments — and the National Republican Senatorial Committee wants to pin the blame on the Senate Democrats who voted for the law.
The NRSC will send out press releases later this morning slamming more than a dozen Democratic senators and candidates for backing the law, which they say is endangering volunteer fire departments.
"ObamaCare has been a disaster, and now volunteer firefighters and the communities that rely on them are the latest victims of Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE's terrible law," said NRSC press secretary Brook Hougesen in the version of the upcoming release targeting Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
"Ninety percent of Virginia's fire departments are volunteer, and it is unfair and unfortunate that those firefighters and the communities they protect are the latest ObamaCare victims."
Volunteer firefighters are often classified as employees so they can get benefits like stipends, pensions and other perks. It's unclear whether that means they're counted under the law's requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time employees have to provide health insurance, which could prove prohibitively expensive for the frequently cash-strapped departments.
Many local departments' heads are concerned about what the law's impact will be, and some are working for a fix in the legislation, according to The Associated Press. Warner's office points out that he is involved in a bipartisan group of 11 senators pushing to address the issue.
Republicans are making ObamaCare's flaws a centerpiece of their 2014 election strategy, seeking to exploit specific concerns with the law.
The other Democratic senators targeted by the NRSC release are Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichThe future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (Alaska), Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (Ark.), Mark UdallMark UdallGardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open MORE (Colo.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.), Al FrankenAl FrankenOvernight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Lawmakers grill AT&T, Time Warner execs on B merger Dems press Trump to keep Obama overtime rule MORE (Minn.), Kay HaganKay HaganGOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy: Fight over miners' benefits risks shutdown | Flint aid crosses finish line in House Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Dem senator: Trump’s EPA pick is ‘corruption’ MORE (Ore.) and Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDems push for panel to probe Russian interference in election Hoyer pushes White House for briefing on Russian election interference This Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks MORE (N.H.). The committee also attacks the Democratic Senate front-runners in Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.
— This post was updated at 10:20 a.m.