Up from 222 to 729 in less than two months!
As of December 3rd there were 222 reported ObamaCare waivers. However, there have been some delays in updating that list. For what reason we may not know, but ironically the day after the SOTU address the updated waiver list has been posted. John Sexton elaborates on Hot Air:
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest that OCIIO was asked to hold this development until after the SOTU. Indeed the latest waiver approved in the list is from December 30th. There is an addendum at the bottom of the page noting that four states–Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee–have applied for waivers covering another 93,000 people. The addendum is dated 1/21/11, but I can assure you it was not there on 1/21 or even Monday.
This ever-expanding list of waivers is the direct result of ObamaCare raising the annual benefit caps on certain health plans. Obviously, a plan with higher annual limits is potentially more costly than one without them. The money to cover the difference in premiums has to come from somewhere. Without the waivers, it will come from the employer who are forced by law to upgrade to the more expensive plan. In other words, the 729 organizations who have received waivers are not seeking refuge from an unintended consequence, but from the costs associated with one of ObamaCare’s features. The real question is what these businesses will do once the waiver program comes to an end.
Does anyone care to take bets on how high this number will grow?