During the first two years of the Obama administration, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid team passed a health care bill the country did not want and could not afford.
Jobs were what the country needed, yet that had no impact on Congress. Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the country would find out what was in the bill after passage.
True to her words, the country is finding out. To date, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has granted 729 temporary "waivers" to large and small businesses, school districts, cities, health organizations, towns, insurance companies (for example, AARP and Aetna) and unions. Unions make up 40 percent of the employees exempted from Obamacare.
The reason given for these exemptions is that Obamacare forces all health insurance consumers to over-insure themselves and pay higher premiums as a result. Without the waivers, many companies, nonprofit groups and unions would simply drop their health care plans.
Even states are now in line for waivers -- Nevada, Maine, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee -- allowing them to offer less generous benefits than they would otherwise be required to provide under the new health care law. Other states are in the process of requesting waivers. As of 2014, waivers will no longer be available.
What does this tell you about Obamacare and the congressional leadership that rushed it into law? Health care costs will increase under Obamacare. Waivers have become the response.
John McGavack Jr.
Hilton Head Island