Posted by: Debby Durkee | January 31, 2011

Waivers prove Obamacare’s a lousy law.

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Waivers prove Obamacare’s a lousy law.

We’ve been led to believe that there have been a little over 200 Obamacare waivers – mostly for companies – to protect the insurance they provide to their employees. Now we learn that there are over 700, many provided to Obama’s favorite supporters – unions. If a law has to protect special people or groups from it, is it a good law? The answer is, “no,” and that’s exactly the conclusion Obama’s own cousin, Dr. Milton Wolf, concludes in this column in the Washington Examiner.

Last year, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had granted 111 waivers to protect a lucky few from the onerous regulations of the new national health care overhaul. That number quickly and quietly climbed to 222, and last week we learned that the number of Obamacare privileged escapes has skyrocketed to 733.

Among the fortunate is a who’s who list of unions, businesses and even several cities and four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee) but none of the friends of Barack feature as prominently as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  Snip –

Not only are the payoffs an affront to our democracy and an outright assault on our taxpayers, the timing itself of the latest release makes a mockery of this administration’s transparency promises. More than 500 of the 733 waivers, we now know, were granted in December but kept conveniently under wraps until the day after the president’s State of the Union address. HHS is no stranger to covering up bad news; in fact, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Last year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing Obamacare would cost $311 billion more than promised and would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance.  Snip –

…The waivers aren’t meant to protect victims from unintended consequences of Obamacare; they are meant to exempt them from the very intentional increased costs of health insurance that the law causes. Under Section 2711 of the Public Health Service Act, Obamacare increases the annual cap of insurance benefits, which sounds great … until the bill comes due, in this case, in the form of higher insurance premiums.

In short, the administration has decided that you will face increased health insurance premiums, but special friends in the unions will not. Look closely, and you’ll see not only the White House‘s duplicity but also what the Obama administration really thinks of its crown jewel, Obamacare. White House words say that the annual insurance benefit cap is a feature of the program, but its actions say that it’s a bug.

The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?

Our democracy cannot allow a president to exercise the unholy power of picking and choosing winners and losers, of choosing who must follow his flawed laws and who gets a free pass. If any American deserves a waiver from Obamacare, then all Americans do.

Michelle Malkin delves deeper into the union connection. Unions were Obama’s biggest contributors and they were also the biggest supporters of Obamacare. Why would they want an exemption from this wonderful law they helped pass? Malkin says one-fourth of all waivers have gone to Big Labor.

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 DeParle sits on the foundation’s board of trustees. Snip –

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 8 of its affiliates win shelter from the Obamacare wrecking ball.

The Communications Workers of America, which sent its workers to lobby for Obamacare on Capitol Hill as part of the left-wing billionaire George Soros-funded Health Care for America Now front group, snagged a waiver that will spare a hefty 19,000 of its members from the onerous federal mandate. Snip —

Malkin goes on to say that the Service Employees International Union which supported the Obamacare law and gave Obama and the Democrats $60 million in 2008, has received waivers for 45,000 of its workers across the country working in several different affiliates.

…The Democrats’ law seeks to eliminate the low-cost plans (known as “mini-med” plans) under the guise of controlling insurer spending on executive salaries and marketing. The ultimate goal, as I’ve reported before: forcing a massive shift from private to public insurance designed by government-knows-best

House and Senate Republicans plan separate investigations of the Obamacare waiver process. Who got when and why? Who knew whom? Who didn’t? HHS acknowledged Thursday that some 50 sanctuary seekers had their waiver applications denied, but would not say more…

So, it pays to be a friend of Obama’s. Obamacare is only for the peons. Those who are connected or who grease the palms get to slide while you and I will be picking up the tab for the rest of those who are added to the insurance rolls of Obamacare. Obamacare hasn’t only corrupted the medical and insurance businesses, but it has corrupted American law. No longer is there equal protection under the law because some are more equal than others. You have to follow the law, but friends of Obama’s don’t. This is the new normal in America, and do you hear any in the mainstream media being appalled by any of this? Read all of Malkin here:


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