Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent $27 million supporting President Obama’s 2008 presidential election and they have long been strong advocates for his campaign initiatives, including Obamacare. However, these same union chapters, including Local 25 in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, have received waivers from a key provision in the new “health” law. The waiver allows health insurance plans to limit the maximum amount they will spend on a policy holder’s coverage in a given year. Under Obamacare, these annual limits must be phased out by 2014. Under the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations, annual limits can be no less than $750,000 for 2011, $1.25 million in 2012, and $2 million for 2013.
The three SEIU locals covered by the federal waiver will include 36,064 enrollees. So far, the Obama administration has issued waivers to 222 organizations, including businesses, unions and charitable organizations. Labor organizations account for 45 of the excluded entities. The 222 organizations brings the total number of enrollees to 1,507,418. More than a third of that number, 512,315, are insured by union health plans. HHS federal waivers are granted by HHS if the department determines “compliance with the interim final regulations would result in a significant decrease in access to benefits or a significant increase in premiums.”
What about the small NC businesses who don’t have millions of dollars to lobby for a kickback waiver? Why are the unions such strong proponents of Obamacare for everyone else but they are unwilling to follow the stringent and anti-free market provisions themselves? If you are unwilling to walk the walk, then don’t talk the talk.
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