WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration appears ready to give some labor unions a break from costly fees under the new health care law, a move that drew criticism from Republicans who say it unfairly favors a key White House ally.

In regulations published last week, the administration said it intends to propose rules that would exempt "certain self-insured, self-administered plans" from the requirement to pay the fees in 2015 and 2016.

Health care experts say that could apply to some union-sponsored health plans, though it's unclear how many. Labor officials downplayed any impact as miniscule, saying the language would not include most of their plans and doesn't address the wider changes they have requested.

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