Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Labor unions who lobbied for Obamacare receive the most waivers from Obamacare

From the Daily Caller.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Labor unions continued to receive the overwhelming majority of waivers from the president’s health care reform law since the Obama administration tightened application rules last summer.

Documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

By contrast, private employers with a total of 69,813 employees, many of whom work for small businesses, were granted waivers.

The Department of Health and Human Services revised the rules governing applications for health reform waivers June 17, 2011, amid a steady stream of controversial news reports, including The Daily Caller’s story that nearly 20 percent of last May’s waivers went to businesses in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district in California.

The labor unions receiving waivers include those that are monitored under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, and those that are not. The waivers granted since June 17 are valid until 2013, but recipients must make sure their employees understand the “limits of their coverage,” according to HHS documents.

HHS granted waivers on a year-by-year basis under its initial application process, but waivers granted after June 17 are valid for a maximum of two-and-a-half years.

By and large, unions backed the health care overhaul, a law from which nearly a half million of their workers are now exempt.

By the way, be skeptical of what people on the left say – it’s not necessarily what they actually do.

I wrote a post a while back showing that what liberals say in public is primarily designed to make them look good to others and feel good about themselves – but they don’t live the way they talk. E.g. – Michael Moore owned stock in Haliburton, Noam Chomsky took money  from the Pentagon, Nancy Pelosi evades environmental restrictions in a business she owns, etc. Liberals can be hypocrites. Sometimes, they are just selling an image to their followers.

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Nancy Pelosi: 1800 waivers for Obamacare were given to small firms – like McDonald’s

From Guy Benson at TownHall. Nancy Pelosi thinks that the waivers for Obamacare were only given to small companies… some of them very, very, small companies.

Excerpt:

The spin:

[Nancy Pelosi speaking]: “They’re small. I couldn’t speak to all 1,800 of them, but some of the lists that I have seen have been very, very small companies. They will not have a big impact on the economy of our country.”

Flashback I:

Nearly a million workers won’t get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers. Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald’s and Jack in the Box, won’t be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.
Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.
And more:
UPDATE – Obama: Bring back Speaker Pelosi!

President Obama on Saturday said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was a great House Speaker and that she will get that job back after the 2012 elections.  “I am biased, but I think Nancy was one of the best Speakers of the House this country ever had,” Obama said after Pelosi had introduced him at the National Italian American Foundation gala.  “She was no doubt the best Italian American Speaker of the House we ever had. And I believe that she will be the best Speaker of the House again in 2013.”

The Weekly Standard notes that over half of the Obamacare waivers were given to big unions – the same big unions that spent millions to get Obama elected.

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, it helps to be a Democratic ally when seeking a waiver. The Republican Policy Committee reports that over half of the workers that have been exempted so far belong to unions:

The plans newly approved for waivers cover more than 160,000 people, bringing to nearly 3.1 million the number of individuals in plans exempted from the health law’s requirements.  Of the participants receiving waivers, more than half – over 1.55 million – are in union plans, raising questions of why such a disproportionate share of union members are receiving waivers from the law’s requirements.  The percentage of participants receiving waivers that come from unions also continues to rise – the number was 48% in April, and 45% in March.

Unions already received a generous concession in the health care bill. Their generous “cadilac” insurance plans were exempted from being taxed until 2018, adding about $120 billion to the bill’s cost over ten years.

This is the woman who treated the national debt like her own personal credit card and rang up 5.34 trillion in purchases over the four years that she was Speaker of the House.

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If Obamacare is so great, then why do so many Democrats get waivers?

Investors Business Daily reports on who is getting exemptions from Obamacare.

Excerpt:

It’s bad enough that the administration has granted another 204 ObamaCare waivers. But even worse is that nearly one in five went to employers in the district of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House architect of the bill.

It was Pelosi who said Congress had to pass the Democrats’ health care overhaul so the country could find out what’s in it.

Seems that quite a few businesses in her backyard found out what is in it and decided they didn’t like it.

According to the Daily Caller, 204 waivers for a provision of ObamaCare were approved last month — bringing the total waiver count to 1,372. Out of that April number, 38 of the waivers “are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in” the Democrat’s hard-left San Francisco district.

The waivers, which the administration began granting only months after the bill was passed and signed, let employers avoid terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require health care insurance plans to carry at least $750,000 in benefits before being exhausted.

This requirement, found in the thousands of pages that make up the ObamaCare bill, is too costly for many businesses that can afford to provide health coverage only through less comprehensive plans.

The owner of Tru Spa, one of the San Francisco businesses granted a waiver, told the Daily Caller both ObamaCare and new local laws have “devastated” businesses in the region.

The employers that were granted waivers in Pelosi’s district include Boboquivari’s, a restaurant that, reports the Daily Caller, “advertises $59 porterhouse steaks, $39 filet mignons and $35 crab dinners.”

“Then, there’s Cafe des Amis, which describes its eating experience as ‘a timeless Parisian style brasserie,’ which is ‘located on one of San Francisco’s premier shopping and strolling boulevards.'”

Also among the 38 are the four-star hotel Campton Place and the self-proclaimed four-diamond Hotel Nikko.

While Pelosi’s constituents are being protected from her party’s health care wreckage, another Democratic constituency is being taken care of, as well.

A coalition of groups operating under the name wheresmywaiver.com says that “50.26% of waiver beneficiaries are unionized, despite union workers only making up 11.9% of the workforce.”

The Service Employees International Union, whose former President Andy Stern was one of the most frequent White House visitors before he was named to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been well-represented on the waiver list.

So have the teacher unions.

Organized labor, of course, is a heavy donor to Democratic candidates and was among the groups that pressed hard for Congress and the president to ram ObamaCare through the legislature and into Americans’ lives.

If ObamaCare is so vital to our national well-being, why are these unions and employers in a heavily Democratic district seeking relief from the burdens it imposes?

And why would Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose brilliant thought process led him to say “the bill and I are one,” ask for a waiver for his hometown of New York City?

This is what happens when the government takes money out of the private sector and lets politicians spend it. Especially left-wing politicians who are not inclined to cut taxes and reduce regulations.

Related posts

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Obamacare waivers skyrocket to 729 including TONS of unions

From Michelle Malkin.

Excerpt:

The list is at 729 — plus 4 states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennesse).

Among the many new union refugees are 4 new SEIU locals :

-SEIU Health and Welfare fund, 2000 with 161 enrollees

-Service Employees 32BJ North Health Benefit Fund* representing 7,020 enrollees

-SEIU Local 300, Civil Service Forum Employees Welfare Fund representing 2,000 enrollees

-SEIU Health & Welfare Fund representing 1,620

This is in addition to the three other previous SEIU waiver winners: Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees; Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees; and SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees.

Michelle pulled out a HUGE list of union-linked organizations that got waivers from Obamacare.

Michelle found the story in this post, which explains why the waivers are being granted.

Excerpt:

Last year, the HHS website was very efficient posting a list of ObamaCare waivers that had been granted. Ususally by the 3rd of the month the list was updated to included waivers that had been approved in the previous month. But something happened in January. Two weeks into the month no new waivers had been posted.

I was curious what caused the delay so I made some calls. Last Tuesday I spoke by phone with a media relations employees of HHS. She was not allowed to speak on the record, but after checking with folks at OCIIO who handle the ObamaCare waivers, she was able to inform me in a “not for attribution” way that the latest batch of waivers had in fact been processed. There was no specific hold-up that she could identify, they were simply running behind in getting the information on the website.

Well today, the day after the President’s State of the Union, the new waivers are up.

[...]This ever-expanding list of waivers is the direct result of ObamaCare raising the annual benefit caps on certain health plans. Obviously, a plan with higher annual limits is potentially more costly than one without them. The money to cover the difference in premiums has to come from somewhere. Without the waivers, it will come from the employer who are forced by law to upgrade to the more expensive plan. In other words, the 729 organizations who have received waivers are not seeking refuge from an unintended consequence, but from the costs associated with one of ObamaCare’s features. The real question is what these businesses will do once the waiver program comes to an end.

Obamacare raises the cost of health care! But only for YOU – not for Obama and his cronies.

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