Labor Unions Get Majority of Waivers

1-11-2012
Steve O'Keefe

Labor Unions Get Majority of Waivers

January 11, 2012

Has the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) become one more tool for politicians to favor their financial backers at public expense?

That's the cynical view of Rick Moran, blogging at American Thinker. Moran pointed us to a Daily Caller article last week about how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted waivers from the ACA for 543,812 union workers.

By comparison, private employers received waivers for a mere 69,813 employees. It appears HHS favors labor unions over private employers by eight to one.

By and large, unions backed the health care overhaul, a law from which nearly a half million of their workers are now exempt.

In May of 2011, The Daily Caller ran an analysis showing that fully 20 percent of all waivers granted by the HHS were to employers in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's congressional district. That led to a tightening of the rules for granting waivers amid growing howls of favoritism.

Despite the Obama administration's attempt to slide the new numbers into a Friday afternoon "news dump," the figures showing lopsided treatment toward labor unions are generating a backlash. Says Moran:

I don't know how you can argue with a straight face that the waiver process isn't rigged to benefit Obama political supporters. The real pain inflicted by the health care boondoggle will fall on small businesses--and yet they appear to be mostly frozen out of the process.

Source: "Surprise! Half a million union workers get Obamacare waiver since June," American Thinker, Jan. 8, 2012.
Source: "Labor unions primary recipients of Obamacare waivers," The Daily Caller, Jan. 6, 2012.
Image courtesy of A. Michael Simms used under its Creative Commons license.

Steve O'Keefe is a freelance writer, author, and book editor whose writing has appeared in numerous libertarian publications.

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