SEIU: Riding the Waiver Wave

We conservatives give the MSM a lot of heat for its bias, but Alexander Bolton at The Hill had a story Wednesday for which we should commend him. He noted that the SEIU, which had led the charge against the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, is one of the unions that has obtained wavers from the White House to exempt thousands of its employees from the onerous Obamacare requirements.

SEIU’s outspoken defense of the law has prompted charges of hypocrisy from Republicans, given that some of the union’s chapters have sought waivers exempting them from a key provision of the law requiring the phaseout of health plans with low caps on annual benefits.

Proponents of the law argue that some limited-benefits health plans should be exempted temporarily from phaseout because it would cause low-income and part-time workers to lose insurance or see their premiums rise.

A spokesman for SEIU referred questions about the union waivers to a fact sheet on its website.

The SEIU’s excuse is that Democrats who crafted the law knew that it could force low-income people into more expensive plans, so the wavers were actually a feature, not a bug. That’s actually true. In fact, those of us who opposed Obamacare pointed out that, eventually, it would require that companies pony up far more money to cover the employees on the bottom of the pay scale or dump them into a big, generic system run by the government. Over time, more employees will end up in the de facto single-payer system as the waivers expire, private insurance companies fold, or employers realize they’re better off if they dump their employees into the government system and pay the one-time fine than to pay for more expensive plans with government-mandated coverage levels.

The Affordable Care Act was built to shove millions of our friends, neighbors, and relatives into the same type of government-run health debacle that is killing thousands of people each year in Britain. That couldn’t happen all at once, though, lest we get too wise to the game too quickly and prevail on the Democrats to undo what they had done. So, we have waivers, which, we should remember, are temporary. They last only for one year, after which employers must apply for a new waiver or end the “mini-med” plans for which the wavers have been granted. After 2014, these plans will be illegal and millions of Americans will end up in government-run plans they do not want.

But the SEIU is fine with that, as are the majority of the MSM, which is why you haven’t seen hundreds of stories about how many Obamacare champions are now enjoying their shiny new waivers. I’m glad to see that at least one media outlet is not letting them get away with their plans unchallenged. House Republicans are gearing up to investigate the waivers the administration has granted thus far. I hope to see much more coverage of this story as those hearings begin.

(via memeorandum)