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 Warner'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 Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Jeanne Shaheen (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.