The Department of Health and Human Services admits that ObamaCare’s mandate that insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care would wreck havoc on Maine’s individual health insurance. Therefore, HHS has decreed that Maine is exempt from that provision…for a couple of years anyway.
That’s peachy for Mainers, and some might says it’s government at its best. HHS is evaluating the situation, recognizes that different states and localities have different realities so that one-size-fits-all solutions don’t make sense, and granting flexibility. That’s great right?
The problem is that such a process is completely arbitrary, and could very well be politicized. Companies, unions, and state and local governments are all furiously working to convince HHS that they are a special case. I’m sure that officially HHS bureaucrats aren’t supposed to consider the political leanings, giving history, and other uncomfortably characteristics of the entities applying for the waivers. But does anyone really feel confident that such considerations don’t influence the process?
This type of waiver process necessarily creates advantages for some–especially larger entities that have lobbying shops and resources to spare for filling out Washington’s paperword–and disadvantages others. That’s not how government’s supposed to work.
Let’s save Secretary Sebelius a lot of paperwork and recognize that the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of deciding how insurance companies allocate their resources, regardless of what states they do business in, and just waive all of ObamaCare’s mandates for everyone.