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  • Obamacare Waivers Mount, Still

    Why does anybody need a waiver to a law that’s been ruled unconstitutional? We don’t know; ask the Department of Health and Human Services. On Wednesday, HHS updated its Web site to show that it has now granted 915 waivers to Obamacare’s requirements on benefit limits in health insurance plans. The waivers allow employers to continue offering plans with annual limits on the dollar amount of benefits provided. These so-called mini-med plans are an affordable option for many workers, but they would become unavailable without the waivers.

    The waivers are certainly good for the 2.4 million folks who still get to choose an affordable insurance plan, but what about the other 99 percent of Americans with private insurance? If it’s generally acknowledged that this provision makes health insurance more expensive, why not let all consumers have the option of getting mini-med plans?

    The answer, of course, is that if everybody could escape from government-designed health insurance, then everybody would. And besides, the HHS Web site explains, “Annual limits waivers are temporary.  In 2014 annual dollar limits will be prohibited and mini-med plans will no longer be necessary.” Viola. Since they’re prohibited, nobody will want them anymore.

    At National Review, Philip Hamburger notices that the practice of giving favored constituents waivers to burdensome laws bears a striking resemblance to the granting of dispensations during the Middle Ages. This practice once belonged to popes and kings, but was restricted heavily following the English Revolution of 1688. Further, notes Hamburger, the U.S. Constitution “did nothing to authorize delegation of the suspending power to the executive” which raises the question of whether such waivers are even constitutional.

    Of course, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida recently ruled Obamacare unconstitutional over a different provision of the law (the individual mandate), and if that ruling holds up on appeal, then nobody will need a waiver anyway.

    Cross-posted at InsiderOnline.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Obamacare Waivers Mount, Still

    1. J.Kushner says:

      the issue is not why the other 99% of the people can't have waivers. In many cases they don't need and haven't asked for waivers because their plans already meet or exceed the new requirements, The real issue is how many requests have been denied waivers and why are some getting them and others are not ( if there are some) and what will happen next year with the ones that have been granted waivers for 2011

    2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Obamacare Waivers Mount, Still | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    3. perelwll says:

      I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check search online for "Wise Health Insurance" If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

      • varley says:

        Because of this obamacare crap already … I have lost my insurance provided by my company and to replace it with anything else would cost be 1/2 months wages… down with this stupid crap.. & down with obama & his criminal activities!

    4. Horizon3 says:

      If you read Section 3403 of the PPACA you will find the language in that section disallows waivers unless they are approved by 3/5 vote of the Senate.

      ALL of the waivers granted by the Admin are illegal, irregardless of the court outcome.

    5. Pingback: More Waivers to ObamaCare! « American Elephants

    6. Pingback: Tweets that mention Obamacare Waivers Mount, Still | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    7. Pingback: HHS Has Now Granted 915 Waivers To Obamacare — ExposeTheMedia.com

    8. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 2.12.2011 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    9. Kevin H, College Par says:

      I'd guess because several laws in the past have been ruled unconstitutional by lower courts (like the Civil Rights Act and Social Security Act) but were later upheld by the higher courts. As it stands, 2 judges rules it is constitutional, 2 rules it is not consitutional, and 12 judges have thrown the lawsuits out.

      How can you not see this Judge is looking for the spotlight, and much like in your post, is having his name thrown all over. Regardless if hsi ruling is overturned, he'll be a teaparty darling and will make millions in the future on speaking engagements or a show on FoxNews, ala Palin.

    10. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » News about Obamacare issue #271

    11. Dan ONeil, Junction says:

      Kevin…The difference being that the government was not deceitful in its passing of other laws and allowed the supreme court to decide. In the case of Obamacare the legislature said one thing (penalty) and Justice dept. says something else(tax), in it's defense. Opponents want it settled but it seems the administration wants to delay it, as the implement it anyway.

    12. Pingback: HHS Grants 915 New Healthcare Waivers — ExposeTheMedia.com

    13. Pingback: ~ JUST IN ~ Daily News Digest for February 12,2011 | Just Piper

    14. Michael J True says:

      Can you please provide me with the procedures on applying for a waiver to Obamacare?? With all the waivers being passed out, I don't want to miss out an them.


    15. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      ObamaCare "waivers" are nothing more than political paybacks to those that

      supported Obama's campaign and his policies since he took the White House.

      The author touched on the root of the problem with the quote of "dispensations

      practiced by popes and kings". If he would have included "dictators" he would have covered exactly what Obama is attempting to accomplish today. If you support Obama, you get rewarded. If you oppose Obama, you get crucified.

    16. Jill, California says:

      Anyone who thinks that Obamacare and the individual mandate is constitutional should take a class in constitutional law.

      Once upon a time, I believed that an individual mandate was a good idea and not much different from auto insurance requirements. I changed my mind after learning about the U.S. Constitution, the intent of the framers, and how the Constitution was applied to case law through the years.

      The judges who ruled Obamacare unconstitutional were applying the law according to the intent of the framers. The judges who didn't were cowards who passed the buck to the higher courts.

    17. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      When was Judge Vinson's ruling appealed? That's news to me.

      Until an appeals court stays his ruling, this law is unconstitutional, and any implementation thereof, including the issuance of waivers, is a violation of his ruling and the supreme law of the land, the Constitution.

      In addition, as Mark Levin has noted, any use of federal funds to implement a law that is null and void, as this judge has explicitly ruled, is a violation of federal law. Unless HHS employees are issuing waivers pro bono since his ruling, payments to them are illegal.

    18. W.P.Koch, San LuIs O says:


      Congress and the White House should stop wasting the people’s money, “cut as detailed herein” and use savings to improve quality of basic invested entitlements. Preserve the 2010 tax schedule with no inheritance taxes. Congress should transition to an improved Medicare. Vote opponents to this “out”. Citizens come first.

      It is time the U.S. reduces human rites and police activities for the World by lobbying the United Nations, NATO and Interpol to “take on more”. 800 bases in 63 countries across the world should be reduced. Examples are fewer forces in, Bosnia, Germany, Philippines and Okinawa.

      Starting with Iraq, only train for self reliance. After the surge in Afghanistan repeat above and diminish corruption by requiring accounting practices for aid, substituting minerals mining and food crops for drugs.

      Cut bloated federal bureaucracy and phase in outsourcing. Combine CDC, EPA and FDA. Combine the FAA, NHTSA and Transportation Department. Combine GAO and CBO. Departments should eliminate “must spend all”. Return “unused” yearly budget to the treasury. Cut combined department budgets (other than entitlements) on an average of 10%.

      Eliminate all 32 CZARS Mr. president. Reduce your 469 member staff which makes nearly 39 million per year! Halt first lady $180,000 air force one vacation trips. Stop “$200 million per day” presidential-family foreign trips. Cancel $ 20,000,000 executive order (HB 1388) to relocate key Hamas members to U.S.

      Contribute to only one of: The World Bank or International Monetary Fund or U.S. Agency for International Development.

      Reduce foreign aid bribery. For example, no aid to oil rich -Iraq. $37 billion and increasing with $8.7 billion of development funds not accounted for. Halt $150 million aid to Palestinians. Slash $1.3 billion annually to Egypt.

      Charge bailed companies (TARP) for their huge executive bonuses at taxpayer expense. Government should sell shares to recoup for taxpayer. About $154 billion owed.

      Congress should reduce “stimulus” expenditures by halting: over budget and vote bribery “earmarks”. Example: Stop “cow burp” study. $13 billion unspent in states. Eliminate subsidies that smell “earmark”. Congress should cut their pay and do not pay student loans for their staff. Please- no renting of private or military aircraft. An example was Pelosi’s family of $2.1 million for over 2 years. Congress should set commercial travel cost standards and controls.

      Reduce medical cost by: allowing purchasing anywhere in U.S., “tort reform”, and reducing “red tape”. Optimize Medicare aid to local medical groups for expediting billing cost speed, doctor/patient verification and fraud reduction.

      Congress should enforce existing immigration laws and implement “no illegal birthrights”. Entitlements or benefits should be for only citizens. Deport criminal “illegals”. Only deportees and workers on Visa/Guest Programs qualify for needed medical benefits. Complete an improved fence.

      These actions will improve funding for:” Medicare”, “Medicaid, and “Veteran’s Affairs”. Corporations should be allowed tax reduction incentives for hiring with healthcare plan options.

      Healthcare quality can be at least that for Congress or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Additional benefits are: dental coverage, improved visual coverage, no drug “donut hole”, no pre-existing conditions, no deductibles and co-pays except for extended skilled level nursing.

      Other benefits are aid for unemployment compensation and Social Security with reinstated cost of living increases.

    19. Pingback: 10 Health Insurance Companies Get ObamaCare Waivers — For Their Own Employees « Romanticpoet's Weblog

    20. Pingback: House Hearing Reveals the Truth About the Obamacare Waivers | Fix Health Care Policy

    21. Pingback: FUNNY: Rep. Weiner (D-NY) And Obamacare Waivers « FRISK A LIBERAL

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