President Obama’s storytellers recently launched a White House blog series called “Voices of Health Reform,” where “readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law.”
I propose a new White House series: “Voices of Health Reform Waivers,” where taxpayers can meet all the politically connected unions benefiting from exclusive get-out-of-Obamacare passes — after squandering millions of their workers’ dues to lobby for the job-killing, private insurance-sabotaging law from which they are now exempt.
At the end of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services had granted some 222 temporary waivers to businesses small and large, insurers, labor and other organizations that offer affordable health insurance or prescription drug coverage with limited benefits. On Wednesday, the agency quietly updated its online list, which now reveals a whopping total of 729 Obamacare escapees — in addition to four states, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee — who collectively cover about 2.1 million enrollees.
At least one eyebrow-raising waiver recipient — the left-leaning, nationalized health care-promoting Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — has direct ties to the White House. Obama health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle sits on the foundation’s board of trustees.
Most noteworthy: One-fourth of all the waivers (182) so far have gone to Big Labor groups across the country.
The Teamsters Union, which hailed Obama last March for “enacting historic health care reform, providing health insurance to millions of Americans who don’t have it and controlling costs for millions more who do,” obtained waivers for 17 different locals.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which celebrated the passage of Obamacare as “an achievement that will rank among the highest in our national experience,” secured waivers for 28 different affiliates.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — which exulted after the health care law’s passage that “finally, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage will be available for millions of working Americans” — saw eight of its affiliates win shelter from the Obamacare wrecking ball.
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