This just came to my attention…
In light of the coming Obamacare mandates that are about to roll out over this year and the next, the administration has upped the ante on it’s waivers to Obamacare. The Department of Health and Human Services has just announced an additional 500 new waiver to assist companies and, dare I mention them, unions to avoid having to cover the increased premiums associated with the plan.
There were already 222 waivers granted at the discretion of HHS and Kathleen Sebelius prior to this weeks add-on. This more than triples the number of waivers and comes on the heels of Republicans stating their intention to look into the waiver issue and potential favors being handed out by the administration.
There are criteria for receiving the waivers(beyond the amount of money donated to the OFA campaign in ’08.) From The Hill:
“The waivers have been granted to plans offering one kind of insurance and hundreds of so-called “mini-med” plans that offer limited health coverage to employees. The waivers are designed to preserve stability in the insurance market until new state-run insurance exchanges open in 2014.”
The HHS wants to assure us that there is transparency in what they’re doing…
“We are committed to making the waiver process transparent to the public and to make sure workers with mini-med plans are informed about the limited nature of their coverage,” Steve Larsen, director of oversight in HHS’s Office of Consumer Information and Insurance, said in a statement. “For example, we have required plans that receive waivers to inform their enrollees that their coverage is limited. HHS also helps to ensure transparency by posting a list of the plans that have been granted waivers, so stakeholders understand how they are affected.”
All of these waivers beg the question… why did we have to pass the bill to see whats in the bill? Perhaps the right way of implementing a more than 2,000 page bill would be to thoroughly vet the bill. Explore the bill and have proper floor debates that include detailed critical thought on the material. But less than 2 days time does not allow for that, does it? Let this be the example for how we can’t just go on the word of someone or some party. We need to have complete and open discourse on every bill brought for vote. We are a two-party nation… Dammit Congress, start acting like it!!!
For more analysis on this, head on over to America’s Watchtower and read Steve coverage of the new waivers. See his take here.