The Obama administration has granted at least thirty large companies waivers to allow them to avoid the requirements of Obamacare to maintain certain levels of coverage. Thus is laid bare one of the great problems with the health care reform law.
The problem is that health care reform is simply unworkable. The Obama administration was forced to grant waivers to companies like McDonald’s in order to stave off companies balking at the increased cost that obeying the new requirements would entail and dropping coverage for employees altogether.
One of the big requirements was to arbitrarily cap administrative costs of a health insurance plan at fifteen percent. Another requirement was to ensure children under their parents’ plan up to age twenty six, an age when most people are considered adults.
The effect of this move, which the Obama administration claims is to smooth the transition into the new health care regime scheduled to be fully in effect by 2014, will be to add uncertainty to the health care market. It was bad enough that arbitrary regulation was making health care professionals and their patients frightened and uncertain about how health care reform would affect them. Now, added to all of that, is the prospect of arbitrary enforcement.
If the Obama administration can pick and choose which companies have to obey the law and which do not, chaos is likely to ensue. Considering the Chicago style politics that the Obama administration has brought to Washington, the prospect of favored companies (i.e. campaign contributors) being given breaks and other companies being forced to bear the full burden of the law is very real.
The timing of the waivers also raises some suspicion. The one thing that the Obama administration cannot abide would be tens of thousands of registered voters suddenly losing their health care insurance on the eve of an election and to have the blame for it laid at President Obama’s doorstep.
Mind, this is what happens when one cobbles together an over two thousand page bill in a hurry, rams in through the Congress without a by your leave from the people, and then discover that one can not actually read what was in the bill. Is it any wonder that the Great Tea Party Revolt is rocking the nation from sea to shining sea?
Democratic lawmakers, many of whom were considered a slam dunk for reelection, are looking at the prospect of a forcible transfer to the private sector. This could serve as a warning to future members of Congress. Know what you are voting for. Know what you constituents fell about what you are voting for. And then act accordingly.
Source: Waivers Aim at Talk of Dropping Health Coverage, Reed Abelson, New York Times, October 6th, 2010