Obama’s Waivers for Favors

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President Obama’s storytellers recently launched a White House blog series called “Voices of Health Reform,” where “readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law.”

I propose a new White House series: “Voices of Health Reform Waivers,” where taxpayers can meet all the politically connected unions benefiting from exclusive get-out-of-Obamacare passes — after squandering millions of their workers’ dues to lobby for the job-killing, private insurance-sabotaging law from which they are now exempt.

At the end of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services had granted some 222 temporary waivers to businesses small and large, insurers, labor and other organizations that offer affordable health insurance or prescription drug coverage with limited benefits. On Wednesday, the agency quietly updated its online list, which now reveals a whopping total of 729 Obamacare escapees — in addition to four states, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee — who collectively cover about 2.1 million enrollees.

At least one eyebrow-raising waiver recipient — the left-leaning, nationalized health care-promoting Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — has direct ties to the White House. Obama health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle sits on the foundation’s board of trustees.

Most noteworthy: One-fourth of all the waivers (182) so far have gone to Big Labor groups across the country.

The Teamsters Union, which hailed Obama last March for “enacting historic health care reform, providing health insurance to millions of Americans who don’t have it and controlling costs for millions more who do,” obtained waivers for 17 different locals.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which celebrated the passage of Obamacare as “an achievement that will rank among the highest in our national experience,” secured waivers for 28 different affiliates.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — which exulted after the health care law’s passage that “finally, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage will be available for millions of working Americans” — saw eight of its affiliates win shelter from the Obamacare wrecking ball.

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  • Jim

    So does it mean that those companies with unions will benefit or just the workers or both?

    They asked for the wavier so they figured both would benefit. However the number of people involved is small compared to the electorate.

    Obama is building up his base so he will benefit. He and his associates will become politically stronger.from it.

    However will the beneficiary companies be less of more likely to export jobs.

    The solution would have been for public financing. In that case there would have been less of a burden on companies. Of course they would have to pay via taxes. But with public financing the Unions would have had one less bargaining chip.

    But what about England? Isn't there health system a mess? The last Englishman I talked to was a socialist who agreed it was. He told me he had to wait in the dic's waiting room for hours with his wife and sick child. Finally he went to the desk and asked if he couldn't be seen sooner. The lady at the desk said yes but you will have to pay more for the fast doctor. He said OK. She said go through that door which he did.
    Another lady at the desk of the fast doctor charged him a couple of bob and a few quid. He was sent in to the fast doctor immediately. Funny he thought. That is the same Doc I was supposed to see when i was in the slow waiting room. Problem solved.

    The solution was kick back. End of story.

  • byronpatel

    I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check search online for "Wise Health Insurance" If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

    • sflbib

      Give it time? The post office has been around for 220 years. Social Security for over 70, and Medicare for over 40. With the experience of similar programs, how much time does a law need before we can say it was a mistake? Do you want the folks who gave us these failed programs to cut your belly?

    • Nick Shaw

      I don't want to sound like a broken record but, give it time? You mean give it time to entrench all those boards, commissions and advisory panels before we have time to figure out that their only purpose is to make new regulations and rules? I thought the new mantra was "reduce regulations to allow business to prosper unhindered by onerous government intrusion". Sorry Byron, this bill is the mother of all clusterforks of regulation (if we leave aside the EPA, the father).

  • http://www.fx-exchange.com/ Bowmanave

    I'm confussed how all these folks praising the health care reform act as being great for all and they opt out of it. AND, I thought at the time that no one had even read the darn thing (some 2000 pages). As I remember it the Dems were saying we have to pass it to see what's in it!!!!! How can any group or individual say (at the time of passage) that this bill is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sounds like politicking in action to me.

  • sflbib

    Government provided health care is one giant HMO. The way HMOs work is they get paid in advance; and if you get sick, they treat you. Obviously, the more treatment you need, the more it costs them, so there is a great incentive for them to get you out the door with a minimum of treatment. That's how we get cases like the woman who had swollen glands who got treated with anti-biotics and was later discovered to have cancer — too late to save her, but not too late to save the cost of treating her correctly.

    Then there is the rationing factor. Who gets medical services, the 14-year-old girl who wants an abortion or the 70-year-old man who needs heart surgery? Those with the politically favored need will get what they want, the rest are SOL.

  • StephenD

    I'd like to explore this idea of the President granting waivers for various reasons…on various laws. What else has he granted "waivers" on? What was in it for him (and his)? Don't forget, he is from the old school of politics. You gotta pay the Vig…nobody rides for free. So he grants a waiver. What did he get? What, the question ultimately becomes, did it cost US? Do you think he gave any moral consideration to these waivers; consider the implications of them? Remember, this is the guy that granted "waivers" to 4 nations to continue to receive US Taxpayer money in aid EVEN IF they use Child Soldiers! That's right, there is a law that says you cannot get aid from us if you use children and he GRANTED 4 of them a WAIVER. Why? Because he really cares for children? What a joke. What a phony. What an evil thing to do for personal gain.

  • Nick Shaw

    Doesn't anyone find it odd that a quarter of the waivers were granted to unions yet only 12% of workers in the US belong to unions. It certainly is telling of the government's cozy relationship with public unions but, I didn't have to point that out, did I?

  • Guest

    "Crony Capitalism" was 'invented' in Italy ca 1925 where it became known as Fascism. It amounted to an authoritarian statist regime partnered with a select few privately owned but government/labor-obedient industrialists required to produce the wealth which socialism alone is incapable. It eventually collapsed because the engines of industrial production require discipline, a work ethic and committment to accomplishment not the hostile indolence of grievance-obsessed labor unions sheltered by socialist government.