House Hearing Reveals the Truth About the Obamacare Waivers

Kathryn Nix /

17 June 2009 - Washington, DC - Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee begins mark-up consideration on the Kennedy Health Care bill. The bill which may cost over a trillion dollars is being debated by both sides of the Senate committee.

To date, over 1,000 companies, covering nearly 2.4 million employees, have been granted waivers to escape the burdensome requirements of Obamacare. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, the District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives held a hearing this week to further examine the transparency and fairness of the waiver process.

Obamacare forbids insurers from placing annual and lifetime limits on health plans. These “consumer protections” have endangered the limited coverage plans that some employers currently offer. Unable to provide more comprehensive coverage, those employers would be forced to drop coverage altogether if they abide by the new law. To avoid this consequence of the new law, employers are flocking to secure the waivers offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to keep their employees covered.

At the hearing, Steven Larson, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, argued that waivers act as a bridge from now until 2014, when Obamacare will be fully implemented. Larson said the waivers were always on the table to phase out mini-med plans. (more…)