This wasn’t quite a Friday night news dump, as it doesn’t appear to have come from a late-afternoon press release, but it may have slipped by readers nonetheless. Over the past month, the Department of Health and Human Services approved another 204 waivers to insurance plans that don’t meet the federal mandates of ObamaCare. That brings the total to 1372 waivers, at least one of which applied to an entire state:
The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Democrats’ healthcare reform law over the past month, bringing the total to 1,372. …
Administration officials say the law allows the Health and Human Services Department to grant the waivers to avoid disrupting the insurance market before the law overhauls the insurance system in 2014. They say the waivers are granted through a transparent process.
“Transparent”? Not unless we’re defining “transparent” as “opaque,” “war” as “peace,” and insisting that Oceania has never been at war with Eastasia, Winston. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been trying to get HHS and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to explain how waivers are granted, and who hasn’t qualified and for what reason. HHS and the White House has been, er, slow to respond on those questions for months.
Who gets waivers? Who doesn’t? What are the prerequisites for waivers? Which conditions would require approval, and which would require rejection? No one knows, and HHS isn’t saying. And the rather strong tilt in waivers granted towards unions strongly suggests that politics and the Rule of Whim are very much part of the decision process.
That’s a lot of things, but transparent it isn’t.