Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waivers A-Plenty On Health Care Legislation

It is reported that some 111 waivers have been issued for large corporations as new health care law comes into effect. Eighteen unions have received waivers to not be under the thumb of the new health care legislation requirements from the government. The SEIU stated the union will drop coverage of the children of some 30,000 low paid home health care workers in New York. About 6,000 children, ages 23 to birth, are currently covered. The union complains that the new age requirement of coverage up to age 26 stretches already over-stretched funds.

Imagine that.

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

The fund is administered by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Union officials said the state compelled the fund to start buying coverage from a third party, which increased premiums by 60%. State health officials denied forcing the union fund to make the switch, saying the fund had been struggling financially even before the switch to third-party coverage.

This decision was made months ago. The members were told last month, before the elections were held on November 2, yet we only just now read the story. How convenient.

Unions have been at the table and assisting to write the health care legislation all along. The upper management and bosses are set for life. Obama owes unions for his most generous support on his way to the presidency. Former union chiefs are top advisers to Obama. One hand washes the other. Now the lower level union members will pay for it. Just as always. The union dues paid will continue to support posh lifestyles of the upper eschelan and the regular workers will see their money spent on political campaigns.

The first waivers were made quickly before too much publicity could be made about them. With the mid-term elections on the horizon, the White House was acutely aware of the public's strong disapproval for the legislation in the first place.

At a time when the midterm elections are looming and Republicans have been vocal in campaigning against the law, reaction to the roll out has been closely watched.

To date, the administration has given about 30 insurers, employers and union plans, responsible for covering about one million people, one-year waivers on the new rules that phase out annual limits on coverage for limited-benefit plans, also known as “mini-meds.” Applicants said their premiums would increase significantly, in some cases doubling or more.

It was all about politics and future Democratic votes and the Obama legacy, this health care boondoggle. Never mind that it is the most vulnerable that will continue to feel the effects. While claiming the poor and working poor and children would now be covered, no problem, was a lie all along. Now it is becoming news.

The first of the new requirements of the health care reforms were to kick in just before the mid-term elections because Obama thought Americans would have come around to approving the legislation by then. Well, November 2 came and the Democrats lost big, mostly because of votes in favor of the health care legislation. The president, in his words, received a "shellacking".

Rightfully so.

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