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111 Obamacare Waivers And Counting – Can The Rest Of Us Get Waivers From Having To Comply With Obamacare Please?

In a stunning admission of just how job-killing and business-crushing the new health care law really is, the Obama administration has issued a staggering total of 111 Obamacare waivers (and counting) so far. The list of the dozens of companies and organizations that have been approved for a waiver is very, very deeply buried on the website of the Department of Health & Human Services.  In fact, it takes six separate clicks to get to the list.  Some of the companies that have been granted waivers include McDonald’s, Darden Restaurants (owners of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant chains), Aetna, the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund in New York, and Dish Network.  These Obamacare waivers cover a total of 1.2 million Americans.  However, as news of these waivers spreads, it is inevitable that thousands more companies will want to apply.  In the end, tens of millions of Americans may be covered by health plans that have been exempted from Obamacare.  So can the rest of us get in on this action or is the Obama administration going to play favorites with these waivers?

So far, the Obamacare waivers have primarily been granted to companies that offer very limited health plans.  The Obama administration has apparently been afraid of the public relations nightmare that would result if dozens of companies suddenly started dropping health coverage for their employees.  The following is how the New York Times recently described what is going on with these waivers….

Last month, federal officials granted dozens of one-year waivers that were aimed at sparing certain employers, including McDonald’s, insurers and unions who offer plans that sharply limit the coverage they provide. These limited-benefit plans, also known as “minimeds,” fail to comply with new rules phasing out limits on how much policies will provide in medical care each year.

So do you want to get an Obamacare waiver for your own company?  Well, just over a week ago the Department of Health & Human Services published a set of new guidelines for those seeking to apply for a waiver.  As news of these waivers starts to spread they will likely get absolutely swamped with applications, so you better get yours in early.  In fact, it is being reported that the number of approved applications has tripled in just the last month alone.

But these waivers raise some very important questions.

-If Obamacare is such a great law, shouldn’t it apply equally to everybody?

-If Obamacare is going to cause firms to drop their “mini-med” health plans, shouldn’t all firms with “mini-med” plans be given a blanket exemption?

-Are all firms that apply for an Obamacare exemption going to be given one or will the Obama administration be playing favorites?

-Won’t firms that are granted these Obamacare waivers be given a very substantial competitive advantage over other firms in the same industry that do not have an exemption?

-What does it say about an administration when they grant dozens upon dozens of exemptions from a law that they spent months upon months selling to the American people as the ultimate solution to our health care problems?

The following is a recent video news report about these Obamacare exemptions…..

The truth is that the U.S. health care system was deeply broken before Obamacare, and after the new health care law the U.S. health care system is still deeply broken.

Before Obamacare, the U.S. health care system was all about making as much money as possible for health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.  After Obamacare, the U.S. health care system is still about making as much money as possible for health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, only now we all have to deal with more suffocating layers of government bureaucracy and much higher health insurance premiums.

The entire health care system in the United States should be dismantled and built again from scratch.  It was a complete and total nightmare before Obamacare and it is still a complete and total nightmare.

But perhaps you disagree.  Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, and if you have a different perspective feel free to express it below….

  • Johnson

    The Obama administration has no feet left to shoot off. Now they are working at hacking off their legs at the knees!

    Next, watch Obama cave in to the Republican demands that the Bush temporary tax cuts be extended for another two years. That way they can deal with the issue just in time for the 2012 elections. Whew, what a dolt!

    People still disparage Jimmy Carter’s presidency. Obama’s presidency looks like it is on the fast track to even greater infamy.

    And I voted for Obama. Sheese.

  • david5300

    So where do I find the list???????

  • Duke

    Obamacare is a bogus scam to socialized medicine and yet waivers for those political supporting him.

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    The Great Health Care Hoax:

    http://www.planorperish.com/?page_id=2852

  • http://brunolem.wordpress.com Brunolem

    Could it be that Mc Donald’s is gonna get a waiver and not Burger King?

    Could it be that the Administration want to provide some financial relief to the only companies likely to create jobs in the next decades?

    Could it be that the new Congress is gonna reform the healthcare reform?

    Click on my name to visit my blog.

  • happy face

    one of the techniques Obama is using to subvert our democracy is to overload the system to make it crash. For example, the so-called health care bill he and his mob shoved down our throats.

    We can fight back by cancelling our health insurance and refusing to pay a penalty when the tax drones come to collect. It’s easier than standing in a firing line taking musket balls and may send a message that we will not take it without a fight.

  • Just Observing

    Yeah…..we’re all equal, but some of us are more equal than others.

  • Mr Carpenter

    The health care of the United States worked well before the US Government stuck their big paws in the honey jar.

    There is something to be said for freedom and responsibility.

    Freedom to choose your own doctor and medicines, responsibility to care for your own family.

    I’m “unyoung” enough to remember when medical care was something done on a local basis without the government interference (which raises costs).

    Another problem with the extreme costs of medical care in this country is that so many people feel “entitled” to sue the doctors who care for them, that something like 1/2 of what these doctors take in must go towards insurance (much of which is profit margin for medical liability insurance companies). Then there are the lawyer’s fees….

    Perhaps if common sense were to come into play and that 99.9% of the time or more, doctors and nurses do not do harm intentionally (along with the realization that money can’t bring grandma back if she dies under care).

    Once the entire society collapses, it’s just one more area where we can all start over again. It’s just that medicines won’t be available as freely as now, nor the high tech stuff which we depend upon to extend our lives.

  • Lennie Pike

    In Brazil the price of the six medications I use is 15% of the price in the U.S. That is a free market price with no government subsidies. The difference in price is due to the fact that there is no collusion to rig the market because the suppliers would have a feeling of shame in abusing sick people.

    The price also has nothing to do with what the people earn and can pay – does it here?

    It use to be the same in the U.S.

  • http://erectuswalksamongstus.com Max Hardwood

    Here’s the bottom line: no one, in the future,
    will be able to ‘retire’ and ‘take it easy’.
    With the forced payments of Obummercare, auto
    insurance, real-estate taxes, gasoline (if
    you’re gonna drive!), auto license renewal fees, food (if you’re gonna live!), and the list
    goes on: you WILL work, you WILL produce, you
    WILL pay! pay! pay! until you drop dead from
    exhaustion. Wal-mart greeters will be in huge
    demand, I’d apply now while you may still have
    a chance….

  • sharonsj

    This on top of learning that a previous law exempted Halliburton and the gas industry from EPA oversight. Seems that Congress is just too busy taking bribes to bother protecting the American public. By the way, passing a law to benefit a specific company is supposed to be illegal….

  • zack

    This is typical corporatism. The powerful politically connected companies use their lobbyists to get exemptions from these expensive regulations, while the small businesses are forced to pick up the slack. Obamacare should be abolished for everyone, not just these moochers.

    Jobs in Asia – http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • Laticia

    Our entire political /economic/ military system is broken. It reached a level of corruption on a scale rarely if ever seen before in history.

    It’s a mistake to call this joke “Obamacare.” Obama is an idiot, a puppet who doesn’t know his left hand from his right. He is a mere creation of the bankers, a minor CIA operator. Just look at his face when he talks–he is reciting, and has no clue what’s going on. There is no Congress either, no judiciary, nada. Our rulers are the international bankers who also rule the Federal Reserve (sic).

  • Maria

    I am sick of this garbage…the special people and the special companies always get the loopholes while the rest of us pay through the nose for GARBAGE.

    We are broke. Of course they are letting the “special companies” off the hook. Of course Obamacare won’t work. We are broke.

    REPEAL IT!

    WHILE WE ARE AT IT…BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!

    ABOLISH THE FED AND THE IRS!

    Why are we broke? Nine letters. War. Fed. IRS.

    We don’t need any of it. But we are allowing it to exist. Why?

    We bombed our attackers after 9-11. Job done. But now we have lost thousands more of our troops since then for what? So the companies who benefit from war can keep making billions at the expense of the American taxpayer…and the lives of how many thousands of our own troops. This is stupid. We got suckered into this war, and it is breaking our backs. Bring our troops home and start defending our borders. If our kids have to die, then let it be on American soil defending our own country!

    As for the Fed and the IRS…turn off the spigot. No more Fed and no more IRS. No more fake money. No more penalties for having a job. Tax what we buy…not what we earn. No more bailouts for foreign banks and over paid execs!

    There is no way we are going to avoid this depression. But we can stop making it worse and dragging it out. We start by ending the war, the Fed and the IRS. Then we can start cleaning up or rebuilding our banking, our insurance, our trade, our industry, our social security, our health care and our education.

    We can fix the problems! But we better do it now!

  • RunVampRun

    25 lobbyist for every regulator in Washington equals Health Care Waivers! The sad thing about all this is that the anger and the frustration of the average American citizen gets swept under the table….

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    A radio show host once told his audience he needed an emergency apendectamy (his apendix burst). He rushed himself to the hospital and the doctor told him what he tells every patient in that condition, “20 more minutes and you’de be dead”.
    He got the bill for the proceedure. A mind boggling $120,000 to have your apendix taken out. A job my vet could probably do for 500 bucks. So the problem is this. It’s not who’s going to pay for medical care (your employer, your insurance company, the government, you) the problem is the cost. Plain and simple. An operation like this should reasonably cost about….say….$15,000? It should only take about an hour! I mean how can anyone justify 120 grand? It’s rediculous.

  • Gary2

    He should have passed single payer. Then all the problems would be solved. We are the only country (unbelievably stupid) that lets the parasite insurance company profit off sickness.

    The free market has no place in health-care.

  • Iman Azol

    Joe: The insurance company probably only paid $20-$25,000, including all the administrative costs. The billed costs bear no resemblance to the paid costs.

  • Leon from Redding CA

    In the list of “Approved Applications for Waiver” are insurance companies (Cigna, 265,000 enrollees). If the government is granting waivers to the insurance companies, wouldn’t that waiver then apply to employers using that “waived” insurance company?

    What if the insurance policy belongs to the employee not the employer? This could be an easy solution for those small companies who aren’t blessed by a Secretary Sebelius waiver and are being forced to drop employee coverage. Simply switching their healthcare payments into LyfeBank accounts where the employee purchases a policy of their choosing will get the employer out of the health insurance mess. LyfeBank accounts allow family members and part time workers to pool employer funds from each job, all with pretax dollars.

  • Mr Carpenter

    I just got this from the Growth Stock Wire, and I thought I’d share it since it relates 100% to the above. Not forgetting that Argentina went through what we are soon going to go through about 20 years ago.

    “Kirchner was elected President of Argentina in 2003, following the currency crisis. He served until 2007, when his wife took over the post. He was campaigning to run for President again next year, and was widely expected to win.

    It is quite a statement when the market rallies 8% after a candidate’s death. Talk about being worth more dead than alive.

    “Kirchner was a crook,” said a group of businessmen I had lunch with a few days following his death. Indeed, in a country known for electing people of dubious character to higher office, Kirchner raised the standard of thievery.

    His administration was rife with scandal. It was common to hear stories involving bags of cash stashed in various government offices, and suitcases full of money transported through the airport. Kirchner’s net worth ballooned from less than $1 million when he was elected in 2003 to an estimated $70 million when he died two weeks ago. Much of the increase is rumored to have come from various sweetheart real estate deals and corporate kickbacks on government contracts.

    “But he was popular,” I argued. The funeral procession marched down the avenue in front of my apartment. Several thousand people turned out for it.

    “It’s easy to be popular when you buy votes,” the businessmen replied. Many of Kirchner’s policies were designed to redistribute wealth – higher taxes and fees for those who achieved, and more “free” handouts for the rest.

    “Popularity doesn’t mean the policies are in the nation’s best interest,” one businessman said. “I’ll bet most of the crowd was bused and bribed to be at the funeral.”

    I found out later, the housekeeper who cleaned my apartment marched in the funeral procession. She received a sandwich and 100 pesos (about $25) for her participation.

    “So who’s next?” I asked the businessmen. “Who will you vote for?”

    “It doesn’t matter,” they agreed. “Everyone’s corrupt. We’ll just be trading one thief for another. It’s not even worth the bother to vote.”

    And there we have what seems to be the national slogan of Argentina post-currency crisis… Why bother?

    Food wrappers and other trash litter the streets, even though there are trash cans on every corner and it takes little effort to properly dispose of the garbage. But why bother?

    Dog walkers leave their clients’ poop in the middle of the sidewalk despite the stench and mess it makes. Why bother?

    Gentlemen don’t dress for dinner anymore… Many don’t even shave… Why bother?

    It’s as if the entire culture has thrown up its hands and decided it’s not worth the effort. There’s no point working hard if what you earn can be taken away from you by government decree, or if what you need is provided for “free.” Why bother honoring your contracts if the government doesn’t honor its own contracts? Why bother playing the game by the rules if those rules change every time you get ahead?

    As a visitor, it’s hard to digest this thinking. After all, Argentina appears to have a thriving economy. The government reports strong economic numbers. The stock market is up 40% in the past year. There’s constant traffic in the streets of Buenos Aires. And people are bustling along the sidewalks.

    “But we’re peaking,” one businessman said. “And we’re peaking at a much lower level than before.” The rest of the men nodded in agreement. “If only the rest of the government would suffer a heart attack.”

    There is a deep distrust and resentment of the government here – which isn’t a surprise since it was government actions that created the currency crisis years ago, destroying much of the country’s wealth.

    But that wasn’t always the case. Prior to the currency crisis, the government was largely seen as a regulator and a protector of last resort.

    And that is how the U.S. government is seen right now. While it’s not a perception I agree with, it’s apparently the view of the majority of U.S. voters.

    Following a currency crisis, however – if Argentina is any example – the government becomes a competitor. It fights with its citizens for each piece of the pie. And its appetite is insatiable.

    How do you battle against a larger and more powerful entity? I don’t know. Most of the people I’ve met here in Argentina do so by hiding their wealth. They send it overseas, or bury it in their mattresses. They don’t keep it in the banks for fear of confiscation. So the money never makes its way into the economy and growth is always less than what it could be.

    If only the rest of the government would suffer a heart attack… The businessmen’s words replay over again in my head.

    If only…

    Best regards and good trading,

    Jeff Clark”

    The Untied Status of Amerika is moving down the road towards being Argentina North. After all, bondholders in GM and Chrysler were essentially SCREWED out of their rightful place in bankruptcy court so that “pals” of the Democratic administration (i.e. the United Auto Workers UNION) and the US and Canadian governments themselves, could take precidence in the bankruptcy.

    Big banksters were BAILED OUT while the true unemployment rate started to skyrocket towards now being in the range of 22% – which is totally unsustainable. (You cannot have nearly 1 in 4 people being carried by others in addition to trying to carry blood sucking leech-governments at the Federal, State and Local levels, while bailing out the rich). Socialism for the wealthy (bail-outs from the public trough) while capitalism is for the poor (no work after 99 weeks? go hungry).

    This country is going to collapse in the same manner that other Banana republics have.

    Welcome to the BRA (Banana Republic of Amerika); it’s going to get worse from here and has been since the Fed was started.

  • topeka

    @Gary2
    Kings, Monarchs, Aristocrats, Slave-owners, down through history failed to concoct even a basic health care plan for the sick, the lame, or the elderly. The free-market invented the ‘horrors’ of modern medicine and the ‘evil’ of surviving a paper cut and you want the King and his minions to take us back to the good old days? I would let you have what you wish for, like a good Libertarian, but too many sick, lame, and elderly people would die. The reason the Not-Free Market is Not working is the government-Big Med-Big Pharma symbiosis rigging the rules. Honest men are driven out, either leaving the government run game, or paying the payola and joining the fun. Don’t blame the crooks, when the game master rigs the rules to punish those who don’t play the game.

  • Patriot Kenny

    The link to the list has been removed by DHHS. The final screen shot by Fox shows the ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ screen with 4 links. The current ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ page only has 2 links – and the “Approved Applications for Waiver” is NOT one of them. I spent a solid hour searching for that list – finally got to the page – and the link is gone. Fox’s report made DHHS move quickly to remove the evidence. Now Fox has egg on its face.

  • Lee A

    I had a appendectomy done in Orange County California. They operated late afternoon and I went home before noon the next day (one night in hospital). My insurance company paid a little over $40,000 for my operation. I know the surgeon that did my operation and he said his medical group got $4,750 of the $40,000(pre care, operation and post care).
    .
    Although I have never worked in the medical field or ran a hospital, I have ran businesses in three different and diverse industries. I can’t imagine how they got my bill up to $40,000 but I do know that I met and spoke with six different nurses and administrative people before my operation. Each went over my information, asked many question, some over and over, filled out more paperwork, constantly checked on my identity and what procedure I was getting done. It was more paperwork than buying a home. Tons of people and hours spent covering their butt in case of a law suit.
    .
    I expect if you broke my bill down, it would be half for the medical expenses and half for legal and government compliance costs.
    .
    At that time I was paying $362 per month in health insurance premium. My one night in the hospital soaked up over 9 years of premium. I think the government and media making the insurance companies out as the BIG PROBLEM with health care in America is a lie and they know it. I see the insurance companies as the messenger showing us the bill for a bureaucratic system screwed up by the lawyers and government.
    .
    America, a country created by lawyers, for the lawyers and ran by the lawyers.

    • Hopeful American

      A big AMEN to that. Did you know that pharmacy came from the Greek word, pharmacopeia (spelled right?); which means evil spirit. I found this when I was doing some research. Interesting. Isn’t it the truth. It is all about greed, not getting people well. Also, the gov’t. , I believe, is in on a conspiracy to make us ill. That is why there are SO MANY chemicals used today in everything and even dropped from the skies. Heard, from someone who was reading the healthcare plan, that they are going to take our right to grow our own gardens away from us. Why?, I believe it is because we can stay well on organically grown, non gmo foods. And on and on the story goes. An effort to take over the people. United we stand, divided we fall (and sickly, we fall–no energy to fight back). Think about it. Mother Earth News has had some good articles on gmo seeds, Monsanto (the gov’t in their pocket), etc. What a mess of a world we are living in now. But, WE shall prevail and WIIN!!! Go Republic of the United States. Let’s take back OUR country!!

  • Steve
  • Zurich

    OK I’m in Switzerland and the health care here works, and the tail doesn’t wag the dog. I pay about $750/month for a family of four. For that we get ‘basic’ healthcare which is actually excellent. By law no one can be denied this ‘basic’ healthcare by an insurer if the insurer wants to play in this (lucrative) market. The govt defines what you get for the ‘basic’ level. Like the Canadian system the govt negotiates with the insurers(with a lot of leverage) standard prices for standard services. The insurers make a small profit on ‘basic’ and most of their money from premium insurance which is usually about getting a private room, nicer meals, etc.

    This is basically a free market system with the govt just being a little smart and using its bargaining power to look after the interests of the public. Which is exactly what it should do.

    I don’t understand US health care failure any more than I understand the other baffling failures of the US system. But my guess is that the main factors involved are

    1. legislative capture by health/pharma lobbies
    2.high costs imposed by litigation culture
    3. high costs imposed by regulation
    4. cartels / price rigging
    5. infinite entitlement

    Let me explain the last one. The problem is that once you have insurance, healthcare is a free good with infinite demand. No one ever gets enough health care, as long as someone else (government, insurer) is paying for it. So there is an insatiable appetite for progressively more expensive therapies. As soon as some new drug or technique comes out, it’s instantly a “right” for everyone to have it. Of course it is massively in the interests of health/pharma industry to constantly push new techniques and market them to patients. Infinite patient entitlement driven by health/pharma industry profit motives in a “positive” feedback cycle that is out of control. The cost:benefit ratio is falling all the time, so the costs rise exponentially. There is no limit to how much of someone ELSE’s money I can spend to make myself healthy or live longer or have less pain/discomfort. This is human nature.

  • nakedguy

    i know a lot of people do not agree with the health care system in Canada , yes sometimes the wait to see a speciaist is long , but 3 yrs ago before i moved out of Canada i paid $34 a month , no extra billing , no copay , no exclusions , need a stich in the finger , need a new heart , same price , get a another new heart next yr if you need one , no prolbem , and everyone in the counrty has coverage , if you are on welfare the goverment covers your 34 bucks , not perfect but very easy to live with ,

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Reply Iman: Let me get this straight. So if a medical doctor puts on a bill 100,000 dollars the insurance company only pays about 15,000? That’s amazing I didn’t know that. Only if the patient has “no insurance” does the 100K have to be paid in full, right? Amazing. Amazing. I never thought of that. It is a complete rip off then, the whole medical field and insurance, a complete and utter rip off.!!!

  • Kevin

    Lee … thanks for sharing your experience at the hospital. Sounds to me like the hospital made a net profit of @ 35,000 dollars on your case… probably less than 1/2 of which went to overhead. The problem with health care in my opinion is too many middle men / vultures feeding on the carcass of the sick and dying.
    Let us pay out of pocket directly to our health providers from high limit , tax deductible, health savings accounts ( not necessarily attached to any insurance policy) and prices will come down to reasonable levels.. giving us back the power of real choice when it comes to health.

  • Kevin

    one last point is high tech / low touch/ production line medical care is of a very low quality .. this is why malpractice insurances are so high. The more harm a healing art does the higher their insurance premiums go.
    For instance:
    Natural doctors such as chiropractors pay 1/10 the malpractice premiums of and medical doctor

  • 1776blues

    Thanks Mr Carpenter for sharing that with us and yes that is what we face folks.

    Lee, it was all the band-aids they used that drove up the cost! I had to throw that in as I have seen before where they charge for every little thing.

  • Jack

    Reality

    google

    Bernanke’s Failed CNBC Predictions

    Eliot Spitzer: “The Federal Reserve Is A Ponzi Scheme” (Inside The Fed’s Secret Pile Of Trash With Ratigan, Spitzer & Toure

    Marvin Barth Says QE2 Won’t Fix `Underlying Problems’

    9 Reasons Why Quantitative Easing Is Bad For The U.S. Economy

    Quantitative Easing Explained

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