Selectively Shielded from Obamacare

January 6, 2012

The Obama administration this afternoon released a final list of health plans, unions, states, and others that are being granted a reprieve from the costly mandates of the president's unpopular health care law. Although the waivers were initially handed out on an annual basis, earlier this year the administration changed course and decided to provide these extensions for as long as possible, granting them now to last all the way through 2014.

As the data released today show, virtually every plan that got a preliminary waiver re-upped through 2014, needing protection from this costly and burdensome law for as long as possible.

1,396 plans, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements, received waivers in the initial application period and extended them through 2014

229 additional plans applied and were granted waivers through 2014

1,625 plans are now exempted from Obamacare's costs

94% of the plans that applied for the initial waivers also needed the extension

3,914,356 is the total number of individuals covered by plans and HRAs that are exempt from Obamacare's mandates through 2014

The Energy and Commerce Committee began its investigation into waivers from the health care law nearly one year ago. Since then, the administration has admitted these waivers are necessary for "protecting coverage for millions of Americans."

But what about the--1,019,810 people covered by plans that were denied a waiver? Or the plans that did not know how to maneuver through the federal bureaucracy to get a special exemption from this costly law?

And what happens in 2014 when this controversial law takes full effect, and no one is protected? Luckily it may not come to that. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the challenge to the law beginning on March 26 - just over two years from the day it was signed into law, and well after this administration started handing out waivers to protect citizens against the harm it will cause.

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