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Health care waivers are special treatment

May 27, 2011 - Mike Maneval
A provision that allows the Obama administration to grant waivers from the health care reform law's requirement that employers offer $750,000 in annual medical benefits has drawn fire this month, with The Hill placing the number of waivers granted at 1,372 or more. Conservative critics of the president ranging from Michelle Malkin to Newt Gingrich say the waivers are special treatment, undermining equality before the law and rewarding interests more aligned with the president and his party. The Daily Caller reports that Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican representing central Michigan, spent the past week pressing the administration to practice greater transparency in how waivers are issued.

Hopefully, Hatch and Camp will succeed, and the administration will correct its course. Because the use of waivers - and their disproportionate bequeathing to labor unions and businesses both in Democratic congressional districts and of minimal potential for job creation such as night clubs, gleefully documented by opponents of the law - are special treatment. Not only do they undermine the equality of taxpaying business owners in their interactions with government authorities, but the waivers undermine the reform law's potential to empower consumers. Rather than address whether the coverage employers purchase for the workers upon whom they depend is overpriced, or if employers simply are trying to minimize compensation for those workers, debate about the waivers is giving skeptics a chance to blame the inability of American citizens, gainfully employed providing the goods and services that allow our country to prosper, to afford adequate health coverage on new government requirements rather than decades of flaws in the health care market.


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