ObamaCare waivers jump from 222 to 729 covering 2.2 million employees

posted at 8:15 pm on January 26, 2011 by John Sexton

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. You may recall that there were 222 such waivers approved in November. That number has now jumped to 729 through the end of December. The total number of people covered by the waivers has gone from 1.5M to just under 2.2M. The list includes the usual assortment of union locals and businesses.

I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest that OCIIO was asked to hold this development until after the SOTU. Indeed the latest waiver approved in the list is from December 30th. There is an addendum at the bottom of the page noting that four states–Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee–have applied for waivers covering another 93,000 people. The addendum is dated 1/21/11, but I can assure you it was not there on 1/21 or even Monday.

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.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Are there any waivers left?

Electrongod on January 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Every state governor, state AG, elected member in dc, and every small, medium, or large business needs to see this. This whole bhocare needs a fast major repeal asap! I am just sick to death that some are better than others in bho and teams world.
L

letget on January 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM

On second thought, I just want a Together We Thrive T-shirt.

Electrongod on January 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Why would anybody want a waiver from ObamaCare?

Democrats said that this was the best thing that’s ever happened to humanity.

Good Lt on January 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Waivers are only granted to those who intend to generously contribute to the Obama 2012 Presidential campaign.

mobydutch on January 26, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Well, when the waivers end, those companies will dump all their employees directly to the federal government.

BillCarson on January 26, 2011 at 8:22 PM

No need to repeal.
In short order, there will be some 300 million citizens covered by ObamaWaiver.

Electrongod on January 26, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Yet another example of unions selflessly sacrificing their access to the greatest healthcare system ever devised so that the rest of us can have better care.

Gaia bless those wonderful peop.. *sniff sniff*

Bishop on January 26, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Is this constitutional?

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Was quoting the lefties.

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Two questions. Why are waivers allowed in the first place and what is the criteria for getting a waiver?

SoulGlo on January 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM

On second thought, you lying leftist trash sold us down the river.

Bishop on January 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM

So basically Obamacare was intended for the financial destruction of the shlubs, rubes, small businesses and conservatives.

katy on January 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM

So basically Obamacare was intended for the financial destruction of the shlubs, rubes, small businesses and conservatives.

katy on January 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Duh.

gryphon202 on January 26, 2011 at 8:29 PM

But…but…but….EVERYONE WANTS IT! Just ask the MSM.

GarandFan on January 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM

“And so if we do not change our politics – if we do not fundamentally change the way Washington works – then the problems we’ve been talking about for the last generation will be the same ones that haunt us for generations to come.” -Barack Obama, May 2, 2007

Mr_Magoo on January 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM

How can I get a waiver?

wi farmgirl on January 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM

They’ll give everyone a waiver if it will keep the law in place, and hope the move to test its constitutionality abates.

ROCnPhilly on January 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM

So basically Obamacare was intended for the financial destruction of the shlubs, rubes, small businesses and conservatives.

katy on January 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM

And the added feature of getting rid of us moldy oldies. How dare we take up good space.

katy the mean old lady on January 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Hey Nancy, were them waivers in this bill we needed to pass so we could find out what’s in it?

Rovin on January 26, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Another 500 little steps toward government by fiat.

cthulhu on January 26, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Kneel before your Master.

CPT. Charles on January 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Waivers are only granted to those who intend to generously contribute to the Obama 2012 Presidential campaign.

mobydutch on January 26, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Of course! In a couple of months the phone call comes, -”nice little waiver you have there, would be a shame if anything happened to it.”

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 8:42 PM

It’s one thing to suspect the worst, and it’s often called paranoia. It’s another thing to have your suspicions confirmed, and yet the final straw is coming face to face with the consequences.

We ain’t there yet.

Skandia Recluse on January 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I want my state to get a waiver.

Dasher on January 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Here’s an idea: lets give a waiver to every American citizen a legal resident. That should send ever illegal alien running for the border screaming.

Tommy_G on January 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Is this like carbon credits or something different. How much does a waiver cost theses days? I mean who do I gotta grease with some cash to git one.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM

So the next Republican President can have his Health Secretary fix the government website so you enter your company’s name on a form, hit ‘print’ and there’s your waiver. What then becomes of Obamacare?

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 8:52 PM

And yet the very same people who are receiving and granting these waivers will look you dead in the eye and tell you they will vote for Obama again. The core group of people who are getting waivers will be the first ones who cry “republicans want to take away your healthcare” when Republicans want to repeal the very law they wish to be exempt from.

We had a bit of a dustup when one group tried to impose a law on the rest of society that they were exempt from a good while back. Those were democrats too, if I recall.

Mord on January 26, 2011 at 8:53 PM

ObamaCare waivers jump from 222 to 729 covering 2.2 million employees

Only 305 million more citizen waivers, and we’ve repealed it!!!

landlines on January 26, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Landlines Heh heh heh

———————–

The trolls are conspicuously absent from this thread.

CWforFreedom on January 26, 2011 at 9:00 PM

This is what the end of democratic government looks like.

This is tyranny.

WisCon on January 26, 2011 at 9:00 PM

How much proof does anyone need that 0DumbAssSocialistCare is not working?

dogsoldier on January 26, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I want a “Obama WTF t-shirt” (Win The Future)…

lovingmyUSA on January 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM

…and since there are about 3000 employees affected by each waiver, and waivers triple every time Obama gives a speech like the SOTU, we only need to suffer through about 45 more speeches until every American is covered by a waiver…

landlines on January 26, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Obama on the campaign trail in 2012

“If you like your waiver, you can keep your waiver.”

KZnextzone on January 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Good news for them. I got my 10.5% increase today, and I’m still unclear if I’ll be taxed on the “value” of my policy. Pretty sure bet I’ll be walloped next year.

Lovely.

seesalrun on January 26, 2011 at 9:15 PM

seesal 10.5- nice.

CWforFreedom on January 26, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Can someone not sue based on the equal protection clause? How about a class action lawsuit against the federal government?

UnderstandingisPower on January 26, 2011 at 9:23 PM

As long as he’s getting all his union peeps waivered, it’s cool.

BowHuntingTexas on January 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Perhaps, if Obama isn’t smart enough to go along with repeal, the Republicans should just exempt everyone from the health care law until it’s good enough for the people Obama has already exempted.

bflat879 on January 26, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Can’t wait for this POS SOB president to be a fading memory – a bad dream that we’ll have to work for years to recover from, but a thing of the *past*.

Not a moment too soon.

Midas on January 26, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Is this like carbon credits or something different. How much does a waiver cost theses days? I mean who do I gotta grease with some cash to git one.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM

What was Obama’s re-election campaign fund target again? That money’s gotta come from somewhere, ya know. Pony up enough, and I guarantee you can get your company a waiver.

Midas on January 26, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Forget repealing the bill. Just issue waivers to everyone.

PoodleSkirt on January 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Just the fact that waivers are being given should nullify this law. There is a reason that there is a Tea Party (and it is not a “Tea Party”; there are no quotes signifying it to be less than it is).

Theophile on January 26, 2011 at 11:05 PM

How can I get a waiver?

wi farmgirl on January 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Hire unionized workers on your farm. Of course, their wages will probably be double those of non-union workers…

Steve Z on January 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM

On second thought, I just want a Together We Thrive T-shirt.

Electrongod on January 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM

“Together We Swipe” would make more sense for the libs.

chemman on January 26, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Digging into the details of the waivers likely will lead to a judicial challenge to the waiver process as being an abuse of discretion.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 27, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Pay to play opt out.

Kenosha Kid on January 27, 2011 at 1:04 AM

ObamaWaiver.

Electrongod on January 26, 2011 at 8:22 PM

this

cmsinaz on January 27, 2011 at 7:52 AM

if the blm had any scruples left they would be reporting this travesty…but alas, they do not…

cmsinaz on January 27, 2011 at 7:54 AM

The number of enrollees in plans with annual limits waivers is 2.1 million, representing only about 1 percent of all Americans who have private health insurance today.

And the rest of us pay higher premiums. My high-deductible HRA plan premium rose 50% for January open enrollment. The only benefit that changed was annual and lifetime maxes. And there was no change in the enrolled population last year that affected premiums THAT much. I can only conclude that annual and lifetime max elimination accounted for most — if not all — of the extra $1,000+ premiums I will pay in 2011.

In 2009, Botox Nancy belched out through that plastic smile etched on her face that the new Intolerable Acts were going to be her Christmas present to the American people. Since when do Christmas presents cost the recipient?

Tongueboy on January 27, 2011 at 9:19 AM

In related news, O Duce reinstalled Berwick the Barbarian yesterday.

“And so if we do not change our politics – if we do not fundamentally change the way Washington works – then the problems we’ve been talking about for the last generation will be the same ones that haunt us for generations to come.” -Barack Obama, May 2, 2007

Mr_Magoo on January 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Marc Faber: “I think he’s done a horrible job and I think that will continue, I think he is a dishonest person, and nothing has changed… Some politicians are more honest than others. I don’t think that I have a very high regard for politicians, I have a high regard for businessmen and for people who work, and not for people who abuse the system continuously. And in comparison to other politicians, I think he came in on a platform as a president that would want to change the government in Washington, and actually he’s made it worse… We foreigners, we just laugh at someone like Mr. Obama. I was very critical of Mr. Bush, but at least he had one line and he stuck to that line, and at least he set out to do a thing and he was relatively straight on the thing that he did. He may have been wrong, but at least he didn’t change his mind continuously, and didn’t prostitute himself.”

Can someone not sue based on the equal protection clause? How about a class action lawsuit against the federal government?

UnderstandingisPower on January 26, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I wondered that yesterday myself when I heard about the latest waivers. Then I remembered that we live under the Law of Rule in this bankrupt banksta banana republic.

Rae on January 27, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Communism failed because it ignored human nature. It saw “From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.” But the reality that occurred was “From each according to his abilities to each according to his connections.”

Crony capitalism (the old goy network) makes the same mistake and will ultimately result in the same failure.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on January 27, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Can the country get a permanent waiver form OB-One’s bureaucratic nightmare?

chickasaw42 on January 27, 2011 at 4:29 PM