American Elephants

The Odd Business of Waivers to ObamaCare. by The Elephant's Child

So far, the Obama administration has approved 1,372 waivers from ObamaCare, with the latest 204 new waivers announced on May 13. The waivers are temporary, designed to prevent wholesale bankruptcies  before most of the law’s provisions take effect.  “We are committed to making the waiver process transparent to the public,” an HHS spokesman said,  The identities of those who have received waivers have been made public, but those who were denied have not, nor have the reasons for either been spelled out.

You can make some good guesses though. Labor unions have received some 26 percent of waivers although they are only 12 percent of workers. There have been some suggestions of favoritism.  Of the 204 new waivers, some 20 percent are for gourmet restaurants, nightclubs and fancy hotels in Nancy Pelosi’s district.

Matthew Boyle of the Daily Caller made an effort to track down San Francisco’s  four star hotels and watering holes who are receiving waivers. Campton Place and Hotel Nikko San Francisco got waivers, as did Tru Spa, the best day spa in San Francisco, but were not anxious to discuss their reason for seeking a waiver.  Nancy Pelosi’s office didn’t respond to DC’s request for comment either.

Nobody really knows just how Health and Human Services will use its power to issue waivers.  The legislation says that the Secretary “shall have discretion.” There is tremendous potential for abuse of power.  Companies that have successfully sought waivers from ObamaCare’s provisions are Pepsico, Foot Locker, the Pew Charitable Trusts, local chapters of the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers union and many public-employee unions.  Companies can reapply for waivers annually through 2014. The world of ObamaCare is a dangerous place.

ADDENDUM: Now the news comes that just about the whole state of Nevada gets waivers. No favoritism here, it’s just a coincidence that waivers are going to the constituents of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the two cheerleaders and backroom monitors for ObamaCare.

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