waivers

Huge numbers of Obamacare waivers granted to luxury business in Pelosi's district

Sunday, July 10, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obamacare, waivers, health news

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(NaturalNews) If you recall during the debate over the healthcare reform law that became known as "Obamacare" because it was shepherded through Congress by the president, one of its primary selling points was that it would cover everyone. That was, after all, the point: Universal coverage - no exceptions, no person left out.

Even some businesses that normally don't support an increase in government bureaucracy and red tape found themselves supportive of the new law. How could that be?

Maybe it's because they have discovered a way around having to pay for their employees' healthcare coverage under the new law. At least businesses and unions that are friends of the president have discovered that.

Take former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., one of the law's most vociferous supporters. As leader of the House during the debate over the measure and as the primary arbiter of votes to pass the measure among the then-Democratic majority (even those Democrats who were considering voting against the bill because their constituents demanded it), she has since been richly rewarded for her stalwart support. So, too, have a number of businesses in her congressional district.

According to reports, scores of companies and businesses, including fancy eateries, nightclubs and swanky hotels, have been granted waivers from the new law, because it would cost them too much to meet the law's requirements.

What about that universal coverage mandate that is currently winding its way through federal court? Isn't that what the fuss is about - whether or not the federal government can force everyone (businesses included) to purchase health insurance?

In Pelosi's district alone, 38 Obamacare waivers have been issued so far. That's about 20 percent of the total - 204 waivers - that were issued in May to businesses, companies and the Democrats' favorite constituency, unions (at least 31 so far). In all, nearly 1,400 waivers have been issued.

In fact, even drug companies are riding the waiver train: As of mid-May, 27 waivers had been issued for pharmaceutical firms.

Officially, the administration says it is granting the slew of waivers to except certain companies or policyholders from "annual limit requirements." The Department of Health and Human Services, which issues the waivers on behalf of the administration, says it reviews waiver requests on a case-by-case basis "by department officials who look at a series of factors including whether or not a premium increase is large or if a significant number of enrollees would lose access to their current plan because the coverage would not be offered in the absence of a waiver."

Sure. The more accurate, but less politically correct, explanation, is political patronage. Average Americans, as usual, will pay, but the privileged will be spared. More waivers can be applied for an granted, the government says.

Apparently you don't need a federal judge or the Supreme Court to rule on whether or not you will be forced to purchase a service - health insurance - you may not want or need. All you really need to be is a friend of President Barack Obama and his party.

But the answer doesn't lie completely in the courts anyway. Health freedom is something that should be practiced on an individual scale.

No one - not the government, not the healthcare industry, not President Obama - should be forcing anyone into a particular healthcare system, especially one they may not agree with or support.

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