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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Monday, January 31, 2011

WAIVING GOODBYE

"It's more than a handful, but not a big number."

Almost as soon as President Obama signed the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act into law, he began issuing waivers to different organizations so that they would be exempt from certain aspects of the law. The primary reason for these waivers is to allow companies to ignore the requirement of the bill for minimum coverage. The law requires that health plans have annual limits of at least $750,000. This minimum limit requirement climbs to $1.25 million in 2012 and then to $2 million by 2014.

By this point, over 700 such waivers have been issued by the department of Health and Human Services, and the GOP has vowed to use their control of the House of Representatives to look into who and why these are being issued. If they are being used as gifts and kickbacks to donors and friends of the administration and the Democratic Party, there's some reason for concern. For example, unions make up almost half of the total employees being granted waivers.

That's how some get things done in politics, by pushing something that companies and unions may not like, but assure them that they won't be affected by the bill, or will have ways around it. That way you can get their support for something they normally wouldn't care for and it looks like a great idea. See, big business likes our plan! It can't be harmful to the economy or business if these guys sign on!

The proper way to approach this is to scrap the entire bill and start over with a new, fresh look at health care costs and insurance in the US that doesn't involve some vast government takeover and massive amount of regulation. But then, that wouldn't give the bureaucrats power and it wouldn't move the country ever closer to socialism, so you can't get the Democrats to work with such a concept.

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