HHS waivers playing into GOP hands on Obamacare repeal

Rick Moran
The Department of Health and Human Services has granted more than 1,000 waivers to unions, states, and private corporations from the onerous requirements of Obamacare.

The waivers are supposed to last only a year. But who believes that? Some excuse will be found to extend them - perhaps indefinitely - which would give Obama cronies a free pass from most of the expense of complying with the health insurance reform law.

But this might play right into the hands of those wishing to see Obamacare repealed. The Hill:

The drumbeat of GOP criticism has grown louder as the waiver awards have increased. Approval of waiver requests has jumped from 222 to almost 730 in December, and another 300 have been approved since then.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is in charge of implementing the healthcare reform law, says waiver requests have slowed during the past two months, but that hasn't quelled the GOP outcry.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says the waivers should be made available to anyone. On Thursday he introduced legislation that would let individuals apply for exemptions to any part of the healthcare law.

"If the SEIU gets a waiver and McDonald's gets a waiver," Rogers said, "shouldn't the average person who's impacted by this get a waiver, too?"

The administration and Democratic lawmakers have rejected the Republican criticism, pointing out that the law provides HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the ability to offer the waivers. Democrats also deny the charges of favoritism in the process, noting that that a large number of businesses - and not just unions - have received the exemption.

The one-year waivers are typically granted to organizations that offer limited health insurance, known as "mini-med plans," that sometimes provide as little as $2,000 in annual coverage. The waivers are meant as a stopgap measure until new state-run health insurance exchanges open up, when the mini-med insurance plans will be phased out, HHS says.

Those businesses getting waivers - huge corporations for the most part - are about as Republican as a Jefferson-Jackson dinner. It's no secret that the world's largest companies are partners with the federal government and have as much to do with capitalism and the free market as an auto factory in North Korea. Obama's particular brand of crony capitalism lends itself nicely to rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Waivers are only a symptom of the rot.

The waivers become important politically following the 2012 election - if the GOP takes strong control of the senate and wins the White House. Then the public might be demanding an end to Obamacare and its expensive, onerous requirements.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



The Department of Health and Human Services has granted more than 1,000 waivers to unions, states, and private corporations from the onerous requirements of Obamacare.

The waivers are supposed to last only a year. But who believes that? Some excuse will be found to extend them - perhaps indefinitely - which would give Obama cronies a free pass from most of the expense of complying with the health insurance reform law.

But this might play right into the hands of those wishing to see Obamacare repealed. The Hill:

The drumbeat of GOP criticism has grown louder as the waiver awards have increased. Approval of waiver requests has jumped from 222 to almost 730 in December, and another 300 have been approved since then.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is in charge of implementing the healthcare reform law, says waiver requests have slowed during the past two months, but that hasn't quelled the GOP outcry.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says the waivers should be made available to anyone. On Thursday he introduced legislation that would let individuals apply for exemptions to any part of the healthcare law.

"If the SEIU gets a waiver and McDonald's gets a waiver," Rogers said, "shouldn't the average person who's impacted by this get a waiver, too?"

The administration and Democratic lawmakers have rejected the Republican criticism, pointing out that the law provides HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the ability to offer the waivers. Democrats also deny the charges of favoritism in the process, noting that that a large number of businesses - and not just unions - have received the exemption.

The one-year waivers are typically granted to organizations that offer limited health insurance, known as "mini-med plans," that sometimes provide as little as $2,000 in annual coverage. The waivers are meant as a stopgap measure until new state-run health insurance exchanges open up, when the mini-med insurance plans will be phased out, HHS says.

Those businesses getting waivers - huge corporations for the most part - are about as Republican as a Jefferson-Jackson dinner. It's no secret that the world's largest companies are partners with the federal government and have as much to do with capitalism and the free market as an auto factory in North Korea. Obama's particular brand of crony capitalism lends itself nicely to rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Waivers are only a symptom of the rot.

The waivers become important politically following the 2012 election - if the GOP takes strong control of the senate and wins the White House. Then the public might be demanding an end to Obamacare and its expensive, onerous requirements.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky