Obamacare waivers approach 1,500 mark

posted at 3:00 pm on July 16, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Another month goes by and it’s time for yet another update on the Obamacare waiver situation. (You thought we forgot, what with all the other stories eating up the news cycle, didn’t you?) The rate may have slowed down a bit, but it hasn’t stopped. A new batch of waivers has been approved and the total is quickly approaching one of those big, shiny, round numbers.

The Health and Human Services Department granted 39 new waivers last month from part of the healthcare law, bringing the total to just shy of 1,500.

In September, HHS will stop the process of granting a new batch of one-year waivers at the end of each month. Companies have until Sept. 22 to file their initial application for a one-year reprieve and seek an extension to carry them through the next three years.

Department officials said they decided on the September cutoff because, by then, every company that thinks it needs a waiver would have had time to apply. The comparatively low number of approvals in June may back up that explanation. The 39 new waivers granted last month bring the total to 1,471.

The real story here may not be the raw number, but the reason being given for the September cutoff. The official line, as noted, is… “well, everyone should have had enough time to apply for a waiver by now if they need one.”

Far more likely, however, is the fact that Barack Obama keeps getting a big ole’ media punch on the nose every month when this story keeps coming up over and over again. The fact that the vast majority of waivers keep going to labor unions and other hot blooded supporters of the man who cooked up this plan in the first place doesn’t help much either. Cutting off the flow probably has more to do with stopping the political bleeding than any logistical argument.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, more waiver related news may be on the way. While many conservatives are outraged by the issuance of these free passes, one Republican is tackling the problem from the opposite angle. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is actually looking to increase the number of waivers… possibly by as many as 300 million.

Wyoming Republican John Barrasso said today that he plans to introduce a bill next week that “will deliver choice to Americans who want to get the care they need, from the doctor they want, at a price they can afford” by allowing all Americans to apply for a waiver from the president’s health care law.

“If the law worked well, companies and unions would not demand a way out of its expensive mandates. Each waiver demonstrates that the President’s health care law is a complete failure. The law continues to crush jobs, increase premiums and encourage government controlled health care,” Barrasso said in a written statement. “It’s not fair that a particular group of Americans, including union employees, don’t have to abide by the law. Millions of other Americans across the country deserve the same freedom,” he said.

Obviously this effort is aimed at making a point and drawing the inherent failure of this waiver policy out into the harsh light of day, given that the president would never sign it. But it does allow for an interesting though experiment. How long would it take the Department of Health and Human Services to process that many million applications? And how could any court impose a penalty on someone for not complying with the mandate if they could show that they had an application for a waiver pending? We might finally get it all straightened out in time for the American Tricentennial celebration.

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If this thing is so farkin’ great, why all the waivers ??

teacherman on July 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM

How ’bout putting Michelle and the girls on this plan ??

teacherman on July 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Waivers for me but not for thee!

ladyingray on July 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

It’s a great idea. But before individuals start applying for waivers I’d like to see how many individuals have been waived via their employers. 1500 waivers translates to how many people (employees and their families) freed from Obamacare?

Missy on July 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Like I said on another thread, the waivers will cease once they reach 1492 – in honor of Christopher Columbus. ;)

honsy on July 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Waivers for me but not for thee!

ladyingray on July 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

heh -my first thought.

———-

Thank you President Obama!

Crr on you name the date.

/

CW on July 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Obama supporters get waivers … just like companies who support him pay no taxes.

darwin on July 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Missy this was an old Hot Air post:

ObamaCare waivers jump from 222 to 729 covering 2.2 million employees

Just a guess that the waivers likely cover upwards of 5 million people. Chosen people.

CW on July 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

CW on July 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Let my people go!

Fallen Sparrow on July 16, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Why are the Congress and the President not the first in it?

For this alone they should be pitchforked.

Schadenfreude on July 16, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I’ve been batting around an idea on Free Republic, so tell me what you guys think:

What if, as part of the debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans demand a repeal of all waivers granted to date as well as making future waivers illegal. This would do several things.

1) Republicans can offer it as a concession to Obama. They can say, “We don’t think Obamacare is good for the economy, but Obama/Pelosi/Reid do (insert Pelosi’s stupid claim that it’d add millions of jobs as soon as it’s signed into law). Thus we’re willing to make everyone who’s been granted a waiver put some skin in the game, in support of Obama’s chief legislative victory, in order to further the economic boon that Obama claims Obamacare brings.”

2) It aids in the overall repeal of Obamacare, while not directly attacking it. Many of those who’ve received waivers are very influential in D.C. If they’re now subjected to the same law we are, then there will be more support than not in the repeal effort. It’d be nice to have at least McDonald’s on our side!

3) It will force the eventual bad economic effects of Obamacare to descend much sooner than expected, during an election year, on groups who thought they’d be shielded. This means that everyone will be immediately staring down the horrible costs of Obamacare that the Democrats tried to hide in the outlying years, and Obama will be forced to explain to the voters in 2012 why his law is causing a hiring freeze and/or layoffs in all the institutions that thought they’d be safe for a couple of years.

Weight of Glory on July 16, 2011 at 3:20 PM

The Congress and the president should have to live by all the laws they force on the people.

Otherwise it’s power thuggery and aristocracy of the first degree, monarchy. People are too dumb not to go after them.

Schadenfreude on July 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Apparently the old campaign cash for an Obamacare waiver is way to strong to resist/

tarpon on July 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

How long would it take the Department of Health and Human Services to process that many million applications?

Whuda thunk that the right would find joy in Cloward Piven strategies?

Go for it!
Get buttons – Call it waiver rights for all(WRFA)

Sounds like a god bark Ruuffa!

Don L on July 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Excessive laws and regulations, coupled with discretionary executive waivers, is a hallmark of crony capitalism. (See, e.g., Atlas Shrugged).
WORST OF ALL is that congress exempted itself from Obamacare, which should outrage every non-waivered citizen, and it should outrage the Tea Party members of congress.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Obama at magical 50% DISAPPROVAL in Gallup’s daily tracking poll. But that poll swings swings so wildly day-to-day it’s hard to feel any glee.

SouthernGent on July 16, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Schadenfreude on July 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I apologize for writing on the same point you had mentioned earlier. There are lots of good posts today and I had not read all of the comments, which is not a good practice.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Totally useless and clueless administration.

Wade on July 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on July 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Carry on, better twice than not at all.

If you believe in Galt, you can do anything at all in my book :)

Schadenfreude on July 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

So the end game is that every corporation, and every citizen gets a waiver.

Tne undocumented immigrants are going to be pissed off.

percysunshine on July 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Waivers seem like a violation of ‘equal protection’. If anyone gets one, we all damn well better get one.

Midas on July 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

It needs to reach the 300,000,000 mark.

BDavis on July 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Why is this news not tied to the budget crisis…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Waivers seem like a violation of ‘equal protection’. If anyone gets one, we all damn well better get one.

Midas on July 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Correct. We have to come to that conclusion because Sebelius will not tell us how many have applied and been turned down, or what the criteria for being accepted for a waiver is. Call me a skeptic, I suspect that contributions to the democratic party may be involved.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Companies have until Sept. 22 to file their initial application for a one-year reprieve and seek an extension to carry them through the next three years.

WAIT A FREAKING MINUTE!

Weren’t we previous told that a wavier would only be good for ONE YEAR? What’s this 3 year extentsion crap?

GarandFan on July 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Waivers seem like a violation of ‘equal protection’. If anyone gets one, we all damn well better get one.

Midas on July 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Crr says the Commerce Clause trumps any equal protection./s

CW on July 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Excellent Blog post Jazz!..:)

Dire Straits on July 16, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Waivers for me but not for thee!

ladyingray on July 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

My thoughts exactly

Dire Straits on July 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Keep it simple – Submit a bill to eliminate all possible waivers and watch the dems try to explain away why they can’t pass it.

multiuseless on July 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

What, or who exactly qualifies this woman to be head of anything? She is the failed governor of a blue state that has spent itself into oblivion.

What qualifies her to head HHS? http://www.Muckety.com

Look her up.

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Why doesn’t this Administration just come out and pass another law making ObamaCare applicable only to Registered Republicans?

BigAlSouth on July 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Well, by golly by garsh, she’s connected to Mitt Romney’s dad!

Now, who’dathunkit?

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Why doesn’t this Administration just come out and pass another law making ObamaCare applicable only to Registered Republicans?

BigAlSouth on July 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Honest is not really a strong trait for the Obama Junta.

CW on July 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

*honesty

CW on July 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Could someone… ANYONE!… explain how a waiver even works? Are there now separate insurance companies to handle those who don’t have to go through Obamacare? Are they regular insurance companies? Do the businesses that apply and get one have to insure their employees at all, or do the employees have to get private insurance now? And if you leave one of these companies, are you still “covered” by the waiver? What if you get hired on at the company after the waiver, does it still cover you? Seems this would mean a lot of people are going to be going into and out of Obamacare, and how is that going to work? OH, and what of the “pay or you get fined thing”? Does this mean these people don’t have to pay at all? What if they quit or get fired or leave? Do they then have to pay?

Somebody help me out here!

UnderstandingisPower on July 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Hot mess!

Click on anything that has a + sign and you will see what a mess this woman weaves, when first she practices to deceive.

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Somebody help me out here!

UnderstandingisPower on July 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Equal protection under the law went out the window when the first black potus was e-lected. Get used to it.

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Just a guess that the waivers likely cover upwards of 5 million people. Chosen people.

CW on July 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Thanks, CW!

Missy on July 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Can I get a screwy light bulb waiver, Uncle Barry?

hillbillyjim on July 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

It’s just a crisis of confidence, everyone…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWAdt07XPgY&feature=player_embedded

After all, both of them can’t be wrong, can they?

UnderstandingisPower on July 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Equal protection under the law went out the window when the first black potus was e-lected. Get used to it.

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I get that, Key (although I can’t believe people aren’t lining up at the courthouse to challenge it on this count alone, but what I don’t get is what a waiver even does. I mean what are you waived FROM? Having to participate? And is it the company that doesn’t have to make sure their workers participate or the workers themselves who don’t have to participate. And if they don’t have to and the company doesn’t provide it… then what?

UnderstandingisPower on July 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Some animals are just so darned more euqal than others… again.

mankai on July 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

But this is exactly one of many ways corporatism supplants the free market. There was never any delusion that Obamacare was going to “work”–at least not in terms of the matters about which it contains verbiage. Rather, it’s expected to be utterly disastrous in those terms (as there’s no single human on the planet who knows all of its contents, there’s a good chance it contradicts itself and is impossible to follow legally: We’ll get a better view of this when the trial lawyers get to work). The idea is to pass laws that can’t be conformed with in a deliberate attempt to destroy businesses, then exempt those businesses (and other interests) seen as being supportive to The State. “Enemy” businesss suffer, many die, but State interests survive, and even get to feed off the corpses. Everything within The State, nothing outside The State, nothing against The State.

Blacklake on July 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Waivers for thee, but not for free.

Left Coast Right Mind on July 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

UnderstandingisPower on July 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

You will have to apply for a waiver before you can know what is in it.

/Botox Pelosi

Key West Reader on July 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

1) Republicans can offer it as a concession to Obama. They can say, “We don’t think Obamacare is good for the economy, but Obama/Pelosi/Reid do (insert Pelosi’s stupid claim that it’d add millions of jobs as soon as it’s signed into law). Thus we’re willing to make everyone who’s been granted a waiver put some skin in the game, in support of Obama’s chief legislative victory, in order to further the economic boon that Obama claims Obamacare brings.”

2) It aids in the overall repeal of Obamacare, while not directly attacking it. Many of those who’ve received waivers are very influential in D.C. If they’re now subjected to the same law we are, then there will be more support than not in the repeal effort. It’d be nice to have at least McDonald’s on our side!

3) It will force the eventual bad economic effects of Obamacare to descend much sooner than expected, during an election year, on groups who thought they’d be shielded. This means that everyone will be immediately staring down the horrible costs of Obamacare that the Democrats tried to hide in the outlying years, and Obama will be forced to explain to the voters in 2012 why his law is causing a hiring freeze and/or layoffs in all the institutions that thought they’d be safe for a couple of years.

Weight of Glory on July 16, 2011 at 3:20 PM

LOVE IT! Fight fire with a flamethrower!

Waivers seem like a violation of ‘equal protection’. If anyone gets one, we all damn well better get one.

Midas on July 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Correct. We have to come to that conclusion because Sebelius will not tell us how many have applied and been turned down, or what the criteria for being accepted for a waiver is. Call me a skeptic, I suspect that contributions to the democratic party may be involved.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

You cynic!!! How dare you imply our beloved leader and his all knowing cohorts would grant special favors for cash. I am so very disappointed in you. Please report to room #2 for some “educational refreshments.”
/s

What would be nice is one…just one of these canidates would come out and take huge dump all over the “O” plan. The MSM cannot ignore a canidate for Prez dropping these bombs. Go George Patton…attack, attack! You’re either on offense or you’re on defense and defense don’t win a lot of games.

VikingGoneWild on July 16, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Correct. We have to come to that conclusion because Sebelius will not tell us how many have applied and been turned down, or what the criteria for being accepted for a waiver is.
slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

HTH.

crr6 on July 16, 2011 at 6:39 PM

It makes perfect sense that a new system as perfect and wonderful as Obamacare should have waivers for unions and other democrat sycophants. that just proves what a great idea it is!!

/CRR6

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM

yeah, crr6, that site does not provide the following info:

1) how many have applied for waivers;

2) how many have been turned down

3) why they were turned down

4) why those receiving waivers were approved.

A 5 page memo giving vague reasons for approvale doesn’t really meet the grade, unless you are a partisan itiot who can’t be honest about anything.

If obamacare is so wonderful, why does anyone need a waiver? Particularly those (unions) who worked tirelessly and spend money to get it passed?

It is so dishonest and corrupt it is disgusting. but then, that is a feature for a leftist like you, not a bug,

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM

The fact that the vast majority of waivers keep going to labor unions and other hot blooded supporters of the man who cooked up this plan in the first place doesn’t help much either.

Tina,

The link you provided doesn’t seem to support that proposition. Do you have another one? If not, perhaps you should issue a correction.

crr6 on July 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM

infuriating…

crickets continue chirping from the lsm….

just imagine the bloody outrage if a gop prez did this crapola…

just infuriating

cmsinaz on July 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM

America: The Land of Chosen Winners!

Now get inline for your strudels ration.

Samuel Marlowe on July 16, 2011 at 9:31 PM

If he runs out of waivers he can always release more from the SWR – The Strategic Waiver Reserve.

diogenes on July 16, 2011 at 10:06 PM

crr6 apparently has no shame at all. But how could she, and support this buffoon and his union thugs?

Adjoran on July 17, 2011 at 3:34 AM

Apparently, the memo on “everyone has to pay their fair share” has not circulated fully.

dthorny on July 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Romney was right.

1st day in office grant everyone waivers.

scotash on July 18, 2011 at 12:47 AM

But it does allow for an interesting though experiment. How long would it take the Department of Health and Human Services to process that many million applications?

That’s assuming it needs to go thru an approval review.

The assumption should instead be flipped to indicate that the individual is abdicating future participation in ObamaCare. Then it’s just a matter of maintaining a database of those opting out of ObamaCare, simply on one’s say so.

AH_C on July 18, 2011 at 2:05 PM