As further evidence of what a deeply flawed health care reform bill Congress passed in March, news comes today of a sharp increase in the number of waivers granted to companies looking to stave off having to implement some of its measures next year. Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the number of waivers dealing with limited health benefit plans and issued to corporations and unions has now jumped to 222.
Some of the newly disclosed big businesses that are getting reprieves, in addition to companies like McDonald’s, are Waffle House and Universal Orlando. In addition, a lot of unions are getting breaks as well on the health plans, as well as some average-sized businesses that makes one wonder why they were able to get the same break as the big guys and other businesses of the same size were hung out to dry.
The fact that so many waivers have had to be issued at all, simply dealing with a small part of the healthcare bill, illustrates how fantastically unworkable and unfair this new system will be. Enforcement of its provisions will be completely arbitrary and at the discretion of Health and Human Services, a setup that will easily breed corruption and malfeasance.
On the one hand, you can’t really blame Congress. After all, it’s not as if they actually fully understood the scope and magnitude of everything that was contained within the 2000+ page bill they voted on and passed into law. I mean, the text was mainly just pure legalese mumbo jumbo anyway, so Congresspeople can be forgiven for failing to read into every little nuance, and plus we needed to get something done right away so it could be fully implemented in four years and people could stop dying on the streets.
If this doesn’t raise any alarm bells for you, I know of nothing that will. It is unacceptable to have a nationwide system where some folks, who are either well-connected or are too big to allow to suffer, get a temporary free pass while other businesses have to make do and get by. This, quite simply, is a system destined for bureaucratic nightmares and eventual failure.