Sunday, January 30, 2011

You learn something new...

Maybe I am just ignorant, but I learned today for the first time that the White House is giving out an increasing number of waivers (733 so far) excusing corporations and even entire states from the first wave of healthcare reform changes. If this is new news to you, look it up. Here's one place to start:
What appears to be happening is that the White House is quitely trying to enforce phase one of healthcare reform without sparking any larger call for repeal. There is undoubtedly an economic motivation behind the waivers as well. For example, Darden Restaurants (parent company of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Smoky Bones) secured a waiver putting off a loss of health coverage for its thousands of employees. While many individuals will not feel the immediate effects of the reform besides being able to add their 25 year olds back on to their health plans, businesses are already facing the costs. Giving the WH the benefit of the doubt, I wonder if there is also a timing issue. Is it that in some situations enforcement may cause massive losses of employer-paid health care coverage without currently providing an affordable\pratical alternative at the moment? From the cynical (realistic?) perspective, this is a handout to those who wield enough influence\campaign cash to buy-out of the costly reform. That wouldn't surprise me because President Obama was fairly transparent with his attitude that his reform would be costly to many people and that they should just suck it up.

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