The mad dash for the exits has concluded as Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, has granted waivers for the annual limits to be spent on individual's health care plans by their employers for 729 business and union entities representing over 2.1 million people.
(Perhaps, not coincidentally, of those 2.1 million people, 40% are union workers while according to Department of Labor statistics, union workers make up only 7% of the country's labor force)*
Of course, with the random and arbitrary nature of ObamaCare, there may be a waiver period extended for more companies to apply for this waiver, but for all intents and purposes, the 729 are spared for one calendar year starting January 1st whereby they will have the opportunity to apply for the waiver again.
So what will be required of the 729 in return for granting of this waiver? Atop the list of the 729 is some text spelling out what it is the 729 will have to do in return for being granted this waiver.
The money paragraphs are as follows:
Mini-med plans have lower limits than allowed under the Affordable Care Act. While mini-med plans do not provide security in the event of serious illness or accident, they are unfortunately the only option that some employers offer. In order to protect coverage for these workers, the Affordable Care Act allows these plans to apply for temporary waivers from rules restricting the size of annual limits to some group health plans and health insurance issuers.
Waivers only last for one year and are only available if the plan certifies that a waiver is necessary to prevent either a large increase in premiums or a significant decrease in access to coverage. In addition, enrollees must be informed that their plan does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. No other provision of the Affordable Care Act is affected by these waivers: they only apply to the annual limit policy.
When the President said that if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it, we don't think he intended that some opaque, slap-dash waiver process would be the vehicle for doing so.
In fact, reading closely the two paragraphs above, reveals more than just a little irony and hypocrisy.
ObamaCare is requiring the employers to inform the employees that because the law was cobbled together in such shabby and politically-expedient fashion, they will be saddled with, for at least one more year, a substandard health care plan as defined by ObamaCare.
That's right... the benevolence of the overseers at the Department of Health and Human Services has seen fit to stick it to the employees holding unfit mini-med plans for up to another 3 years.
We're sure those union folks who campaigned for Obama and/or hit the streets in support of this landmark health care legislation will be very pleased to hear about this latest development.
For a bill that absolutely, positively had to get passed as soon as possible such was the health care crisis in this country, denying people the full benefits of that bill seems awfully cruel and very much disingenous.
Exit question: How many people will die between now and 2014 because of ObamaCare?