The Hot Air Boss Emeritus has published an updated list of the exploding number of groups and businesses being granted waivers from having to participate in Obamacare. This is one of the more under-reported stories of the entire HCR saga in the mainstream media, in my opinion.

In early October, the Obama administration announced it had granted waivers not only to McDonald’s, but also to several other firms and labor unions.

Now comes word that Torquemada HHS Secretay Kathleen Sebelius has approved a whopping 111 waivers for businesses of all sizes, along with more unions and other providers of health insurance. The escapees include employers of many low-wage and part-time workers whose health insurance plans would otherwise be dropped, including Darden Restaurants — the parent company of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster and other chains, which employ some 34,000 people.

Via Michelle you can read the full list of those not having to participate here. But for me, it’s not just the swelling, raw number of groups being granted waivers, but the size and types of companies and organizations making the list. There are large numbers of small to medium businesses on there, many with less than 25 employees. Weren’t these precisely the types of businesses that Obamacare was supposed to rescue from the evil health insurance system?

But in one of the truly delicious bits of irony discovered while browsing the list of those seeking asylum from the health care overhaul, I discovered the name of New England Health Care. No, it’s not an insurance company. It’s a policy institute. Let’s dig into their mission statement a bit and see what they’re all about, shall we?

Founded in 2002, the New England Healthcare Institute – known as NEHI – is a nonprofit, independent health policy institute dedicated to transforming health care for the benefit of patients and their families.

So an institute dedicated to finding ways to reform the health care system had to apply for an exemption from the administration’s reforms to the health care system? Keep your eyes on the news next week, as I’m fairly sure that the heads of some immigration reform lobbying groups will be deported.

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