Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Obamacare Waivers

From the Family Research Council and Tony Perkinss Washington update we got the following on the waivers being granted to Obamacare. Of course, it's interesting that Nancy Pelosi and Nevada seem to be fairing so well, but then what would we expect?

"Obama's Party Favors

On ObamaCare, maybe Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn't need to know "what's in it" because she just planned to get exempted from it! In the latest batch of health care waivers, California's 8th District seems to be enjoying a disproportionate amount. Thirty-eight of the 204 favors approved by the administration in April were tagged directly for San Francisco. And unlike the 1,334 other exemptions, these have a distinctly upscale feel to them. As the Daily Caller points out, Pelosi's waivers give a free pass to "fancy eateries, hip nightclubs, decadent hotels"--and even a four-star spa! Give me a break. These restaurants are selling $59 steaks but they can't make ends "meat" on health care? When pressed, a Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman said the department is "committed to making the waiver process transparent to the public." Oh, it's transparent all right. Voters can see right through the political quid pro quo. Apart from the Pelosi waivers, HHS also exempted the entire state of Nevada, home to Pelosi's former counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)! In the year since ObamaCare was passed, America now has more waivers (1,372) than the bill had pages (906). "What does it say about the feasibility of the health care law," asked Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) "when the administration needs to exempt over 1,000 health plans from its own law?"

What it says is that the Republican Party shouldn't drop its call to repeal. If the groups who fought for the law can't stomach it, then no one should have to. What's more, there seems to be no legal basis for granting these exemptions in the first place. Nothing that we've found in the law's fine print empowers the HHS Secretary to excuse any business (with 50 or more employees) from abiding by ObamaCare's requirements. By giving its friends immunity, the administration is putting other companies at a competitive disadvantage. Unlike the President's pets, these businesses will be lucky just to survive under the law's job-killing, resource-draining mandates. Like the owner of San Francisco's Tru Spa said, ObamaCare has "devastated" business. "It's been bad for us," he told the Daily Caller. And it will be bad for America if Republicans don't step up and get the government out of the health care business."

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