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October 07, 2010

ObamaCare: Waivers For The Chosen Few

Well, they passed the bill and now they are finding out what’s in it…the death of the American health care system.

As Obama administration officials put into place the first major wave of changes under the health care legislation, they have tried to defuse stiffening resistance — from companies like McDonald’s and some insurers — by granting dozens of waivers to maintain even minimal coverage far below the new law’s standards.

…To date, the administration has given about 30 insurers, employers and union plans, responsible for covering about one million people, one-year waivers on the new rules that phase out annual limits on coverage for limited-benefit plans, also known as “mini-meds.” Applicants said their premiums would increase significantly, in some cases doubling or more.

These early exemptions offer the first signs of how the administration may tackle an even more difficult hurdle: the resistance from insurers and others against proposed regulations that will determine how much insurers spend on consumers’ health care versus administrative overhead, a major cornerstone of the law.

Several leading insurers, including WellPoint, Aetna and Cigna, have also objected to new rules requiring them to cover even those children who are seriously ill, warning that they will stop selling new policies in some states because the rules do not protect them from having to cover too many sick children.

“The hardest part of health reform is always going to be the transition,” said Peter T. Harbage, a former state health official who is a policy consultant in Sacramento. He predicts more insurers and employers will lean on the government to delay or weaken the new regulations. “I think this pressure just increases until we get to 2014,” he said, referring to the year that the law will fully go into effect.

Yes, things are bad now because of the law but as soon as we have even more government intervention in the market place, why then things will just be awesome.

I love how the reporter calls a logical economic response to government action “stiffening resistance”. These companies aren’t resisting anything; they are simply making choices based on a new reality. Don’t get all snippy with them just because they refuse to go bankrupt in order to pretend that all the Democratic promises which were disconnected from any known reality were true.

It’s not bad enough that the government is mucking around in people’s health care decisions; now big government is going to be in the business of handing out special dispensations for the chosen few. If you like your coverage, you can keep it…if we deign to give you a waiver. I wonder what groups will be looked upon favorably by this gangster administration and which will be told to go to hell. I’m sure it’ll all be very fair and equitable.

This was always the scary shadow in the background of the health care debate. This law and it’s tangle of bureaucratic regulations would screw things up so badly and make things worse that the next step would be even greater involvement by government to clean up the mess the previous round of laws made. Eventually, the out of control costs, the shrinking number of players in the private insurance market and the increase in people without coverage would lead to calls for nationalized health care.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:30 PM

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