For unions, billions of hidden pork in Obamacare
More surprises in the Affordable Health Care Act legislation - this one, so transparently set up to benefit Obama's union supporters that one wonders how we missed it earlier.
According to a new Government Accountability Office report, the federal government has so far handed out $2.7 billion out of a $5 billion program squirreled away in ObamaCare.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is advertized as a way to "stabilize the availability of employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees," according to a Health and Human Services memo.
The argument goes that companies are increasingly dropping retiree health benefits, leaving those who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare in a jam - either they face exorbitant rates for insurance or expose themselves to potentially catastrophic health costs.
The little-noticed ObamaCare program was supposed to encourage companies to continue offering this benefit until 2014 - when ObamaCare fully kicks in and will solve everything - by reimbursing companies for a chunk of their retiree health costs.
But lift the hood a little and this program looks more like a slush fund for Friends of Democrats.
The program proved so popular that "the agency running the program had to stop accepting applications in May or risk running out of funds."
It turns out that 10 of the top 12 recipients of this free money are either unions or public employee groups.
The problem is that these groups are the least likely to drop their retiree health benefits, calling the lie to the Obama administration's whole "stabilizing" excuse.
So this ObamaCare money is really being used mainly to pay off unions and governments that would have provided these benefits anyway.
The more we discover what's in this bill, the more there is to dislike.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky