-By Warner Todd Huston
If you'll recall, Big Labor was one of the biggest cheerleaders for Obamacare. Big Labor was insistent that Obama's take over of our nation's healthcare was the best thing since sliced bread, to be sure. But once Obamacare got passed into law, we've learned that dozens of unions have sought exemptions to get out from under the destructive dictates of the law and they have been given that pass by their pal in the White House. Republicans are vowing to probe these cynical exemptions.
The waivers the Obama administration bestowed upon his biggest donors and friends allows the insurance plans of unions and various Obama-friendly corporations to get out from under the annual limits on what they spend on their employee's medical coverage. Obamacare bans annual limits, but 222 unions and corporations and other Obama buddies are now exempt from this ban.
Apparently, while they all clamored for the rest of us to suffer under Obamacare, they've decided that they shouldn't have to. And who is the biggest beneficiary of these waivers? Unions, of course.
CNSNews.com previously reported that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued waivers to 222 entities - companies, unions and charitable organizations. Among those entities, 45 were labor union organizations. A total of 1,507,418 enrollees were affected by the waivers. More than one-third of the enrollees affected, 512, 315 people, were insured under union health care plans.
Three locals of the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has spent heavily on elections in favor of Democrats, were among the biggest beneficiaries of waivers, CNSNews.com reported.
The largest beneficiary of waivers is the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), representing New York City public school teachers, with a plan that affects 351,000 enrollees. The UFT is a member organization of the American Federation of Teachers, a major contributor to Democrats. In addition, 10 locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers - also a major Democratic contributor - received HHS waivers.
Well, we might recall that there was a bit of a changing of the guard in Washington last November. Gone is the Democrat's lock on power and in is a GOP controlled House, a Senate with a balance much closer to parity than it was previously, not to mention a much larger field of GOP controlled state legislatures and a newly involved conservative electorate itching to chastise this most arrogant of presidents. Obamacare's days of assumed primacy may be numbered.
At least for Senator Charles Grassley (R, Iowa), no grass is growing under his feet on this business. Grassley has vowed that the GOP will begin to probe into these Obama pals and their little waivers.
"You're going to find out that by the president doing that with the secretary of HHS, he violated one of his main principles when he ran for office--and that was that special interests were not going to have an in in his administration," said Grassley. "And this is a perfect example of special interests having an in in his administration when they get those waivers."
Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
It's about time we got some oversight and transparency in this administration that promised to instate the same, yet never did.
Be sure and check out CNSNews for the video of the interview with Grassley.