222 companies and unions get ObamaCare waivers from White House
Posted by iusbvision on December 12, 2010
It used to be 111, now its 222. More picking winners and losers.
It is just as the White House told the AARP when they were not so thrilled about the new law, “Either help create the menu or you will be on it”. After the favors AARP won they were all for it, but then we saw this:
Norton’s First Law: Big business loves big government because big government taxes and regulated the small to medium sized competition out of the competition.
The Obama administration has allowed 222 employers, insurers and unions to opt out of a key mandate in the new health care law – a number that has grown exponentially in the past two months. Employers like McDonald’s, Waffle House and Universal Orlando are among the companies that have received a one-year waiver, allowing them to maintain minimal coverage below the new law’s standards.
The list has grown significantly since October, when 30 companies had waivers, and has doubled since early November. Taken together, the companies cover more than 1.5 million people, including 34 unions with more than 140,000 members.
Other companies and unions that received waivers include Ruby Tuesday, AMB Bowling Worldwide, and the local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Trade Unions Health and Welfare Fund and the Teamsters.
Although the waivers are to last one year, groups can apply to extend them until 2014.
Many unions had fought hard for health reform and were dismissive about fears that companies would simply dump their coverage if health reform passed. But unions are now demanding to be exempt from the new law.
Many of the nation’s biggest unions also had backed President Obama’s campaign. Early in the health-reform debate, unions won exemptions to the tax on so-called Cadillac health-care plans — those with the most generous benefits.
Workers affected by these exemptions are now left to wonder whether their low-cost health-insurance plans will continue to provide the coverage they need.
Companies who do not get waivers are left wondering whether it’s fair that they must follow the health-reform rules and regulations that every other company in the United States must follow, while their competitors who got waivers do not.
Taxpayers are left wondering if it will be just as easy for them to get waivers on the individual mandate, which says everyone must buy health coverage or pay an annual fine, anywhere from $750 per person to not more than $2,250 per household.
The federal government began granting waivers from a part of the health-reform law in September when it gave the fast-food chain McDonald’s an exemption on its mini-med plans, paid for by the company.
Mini-med plans cover part-time and low-wage workers. McDonald’s threatened to drop its mini-med plans, covering 30,000 workers, if it did not receive an exemption.