Lawmaker: Obama has 'audacity' to impose ObamaCare fines

Greg Nash

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday accused President Obama of preparing to fine American citizens who fail to buy a health plan under ObamaCare, even in the face of labor union opposition to ObamaCare.

"The president has the audacity to fine hardworking Americans for not being able to afford his costly and disastrous healthcare product," Black said on the House floor. "This, despite the fact that he has exempted big business from ObamaCare, and members of his own administration do not have to purchase ObamaCare plans for themselves."

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Black cited a recent report from Unite Here, a huge union that was the first to support Obama's candidacy but now believes the health law will raise costs for its members.

The union released a report called "The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse," which says that, while the law is well-intended, it will mean much higher costs for middle-income Americans. The report was posted on Ralston Reports, a political website in Nevada.

"Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality," the report says. "At the same time, without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage."

Black said she agrees with Unite Here's assessment of the law.

"President Obama's labor union friends are right," she said. "ObamaCare is destructive to low- and middle-income families, and politicians who are responsible for this train wreck must be held accountable.

"The President and congressional Democrats sold this law as something that would reduce healthcare costs for the American people," Black added. "It is completely unfair to force the people to participate in a program that doesn't live up to that promise."

Black noted that, last week, 27 Democrats also agreed to eliminate penalties for failing to buy health insurance in 2014. This week, Republicans will try again to eliminate the individual mandate for several years, and tie it to a 10-year "doc fix" bill.