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My Thoughts on the Waivers Given by Kathleen Sebelius

My Thoughts on the Waivers Given by Kathleen Sebelius

One of the main arguments of the new healthcare/health insurance law (PPACA) was to save us money and make healthcare cheaper. People tried to point out the real possibility that it would do the opposite. The administration called the naysayers “liars.” Yet nearly three dozen companies — McDonald’s among them — will be allowed healthcare waivers in 2011 to keep their medical coverage outside of the effects of the new law because those effects would be too expensive for their low income or part time employees to afford. The waivers are for one year and were granted within a month of the midterm election. The timing is such that you can only assume that the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelious did not want negative press on this law to effect the public officials who voted for it.

The Obama administration has agreed to allow the waivers for McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and 28 other companies and insurers to help them maintain coverage they claim will be too expensive under the new healthcare law. McDonald’s asked to excuse 115,000 workers; Jack in the Box, 1,130. The biggest waiver granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was for the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund — 351,000 people. Next year there may be more asking for forgiveness. Those that were forgiven this year will need to ask again, or change their plans to comply. The way I see it, the initial reaction from some of our larger employers shows that this law has not saved us money. We will have to wait and see once the full effects of the law are inforce if there are long term savings, but so far I’m skeptical at best.

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