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 WarnerTop Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Dems worry too much about upsetting others. That needs to stop. Washington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC Metro 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 UdallElection autopsy: Latinos favored Clinton more than exit polls showed Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State The rise and possible fall of the ‘Card’ in politics 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 FrankenEducation's DeVos, unions need to find way to bridge divide and work together DeVos: 'My job isn’t to win a popularity contest with the media' Kentucky Dem lawmaker questions Trump's mental health MORE (Minn.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (Ore.) and Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDem senator asks for 'top to bottom' review of Syria policy A guide to the committees: Senate Mattis on rise in Trump administration 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.