Investors Business Daily
The Unraveling Of ObamaCare
Posted 10/08/2010 06:37 PM ET
Regulation: Thirty companies and organizations get waivers from the new health care overhaul because otherwise they'd have to raise rates or drop coverage. The president said neither would happen. Hey, where's our waiver?
When McDonald's told federal regulators in a recent memo that it would be "economically prohibitive" for its insurance carrier to continue to cover its 30,000 hourly workers unless it received a waiver from the ObamaCare requirement that 80% of premiums for such minimed plans be spent on medical care, alarm bells went off in the White House.
Suddenly the "affordable health care for Americans" that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of when she passed a bill no one had read was revealed to be an unaffordable fraud that threatened to throw untold numbers of young workers into the ranks of the uninsured in an already precarious election year.
So now McDonald's has its waiver, for 115,000 workers, not just 30,000. Jack in the Box also has a waiver, as do 28 other companies and organizations. The largest waiver, for 351,000 people, is for, appropriately enough, a union — specifically the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, a New York brotherhood that covers teachers.
The United Agricultural Benefit Trust, a California-based cooperative that provides such low-cost minimal coverage to farmworkers, was allowed to exempt 17,347 workers. Even what has been dubbed RomneyCare gets a waiver, with Massachusetts' universal health coverage bureaucracy getting an exemption for about 5,000 people.
Remember the days of sharing the burden and spreading the wealth? These 30 waivers exempt coverage for around a million workers, teachers, farmers and young people who can now go to the polls with a little less angst. The rest of us working for other companies and small businesses who got no waivers aren't so lucky.
The irony here is that most of these million workers are on the lower end of the income scale, the very people ObamaCare was supposed to help by getting them the insurance they couldn't afford on their own. They nearly got priced out of the market.
We were told everybody had to be unconstitutionally forced to buy health insurance or the plan wouldn't work. We were told health care costs would be lower, rates wouldn't rise and that if we liked our coverage we could keep it. We were lied to. The plan still doesn't work.
What we're seeing is ObamaCare revealed as the fraud that it is. The waivers granted leave us with an "Animal Farm" version of health care in which everyone is equal, but the politically favored in an election year are more equal than others.
The waivers are for a year, which means the administration can dodge a big bullet right before a midterm election that threatens to be a political flood of biblical proportions. It avoids the political embarrassment of company after company dropping coverage for its workers right before an election in which ObamaCare is a pivotal issue.
The games used to pass ObamaCare — the Louisiana Purchase of Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Cornhusker Kickback to Sen. Ben Nelson, among other bribes — continue, at least to keep the house of cards from collapsing before Nov. 2.
How do you get a waiver from a law, anyway? This law was passed by elected representatives of Congress. How can unelected bureaucrats say some must obey this law but some don't have to?
Well, in lieu of specific guidelines in the law, it is riddled with the phrase "the Secretary shall determine." Which means we serve at the whim of the secretary of health and human services, currently Kathleen Sebelius.
If the provisions these entities are exempt from constitute a hardship, so does the entire piece of legislation. How about granting America a waiver? As McDonald's used to advertise, you deserve a break today.