Is there something inherently ironic about this scenario? Scary Kathleen Sebelius, AKA The White Witch, in her capacity as Director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued waivers to TEN health insurance companies. These waivers allow these companies to continue to place limits on the health care policies for their employees. Companies without waivers have to ‘phase out’ the caps that they impose on their employees’ health care polices by 2014.
According to a CNSNews.com article from 02-22-2011,
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted waivers to 10 health insurance companies, including giants such as Cigna and Aetna and divisions of Blue Cross Blue Shield, from the requirements of the new health care law, also known as ObamaCare.
The health insurance company benefiting most from a special waiver from the Obamacare provision is Cigna Corp., which has 265,000 enrollees on its health plan. HHS approved Cigna a waiver on Sept. 26, 2010, allowing it to cap the health insurance benefits for those 265,000 employees.
This is irony in its’ purest form. Another added piece to the irony puzzle is this:
Ironically, shortly after the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, Cigna CEO David M. Cordani told the Reuters news agency on Nov. 9, 2010 that he opposed the repeal of ObamaCare.
“I don’t think it’s in our society’s best interest to expend energy in repealing the law,” Cordani said speaking to the Reuters Health Summit. “Our country expended over a year of sweat equity around the formation of it.”
Cordani said then that the company was already “knee-deep” in implementing the law, but he said the law would likely need to be improved. “Our orientation is a little agnostic of how you get there,” Cordani said at the summit.
Interesting, don’t you think? Another fascinating tidbit is:
So far, among all entities receiving waivers–not just health insurance companies–the greatest single beneficiary has been the United Federation of Teachers, a union, which won a waiver from lifting the benefit cap for 351,000 enrollees.
Wow! Added benefits for a TEACHERS’ UNION? I don’t believe it! Why, it was my understanding, from what is happening in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states, that the teachers don’t even get PAID. You mean they have health insurance too? AND – *gasp* Obama’s trustworthy White Witch of HHS issued them an ObamaCare Waiver? (to a UNION?) I’m shocked, I tell you. SHOCKED.
Another beneficiary of the ObamaCare Benevolence was Aetna Insurance, who was issued a waiver to cap benefits of their over 200,000 employees. A fascinating sidebar; Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini wrote an op-ed in the Hartford Current last March, 2010 that was a teensy bit critical of the politics played in order to get the monstrosity of ObamaCare passed:
Our industry played a key role in advancing many of the provisions that ultimately became part of the law,” the op-ed continued. “But somewhere along the way politics overtook policy, and health care reform became health insurance reform. This shift gave rise to political rhetoric about our industry, and the people who work in it, that has been extremely disappointing to me and to our employees most of all.
Honestly Mark? You guys should all have run far, far away from cooperating with this farce. I find it despicable that there was any kind of interaction. The PPACA will in no way benefit the private sector; in spite of what you said in your little Op-Ed.
When fully implemented, the new law will have a major effect on the market,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini wrote in an op-ed in the Hartford Courant last March, shortly after Obama signed the legislation into law. “Individuals and small employers will have more options and choices. The private sector will do what it does best: innovate to solve problems.
That was, in my humble opinion, a total ass-kissing paragraph. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why any company these days, ESPECIALLY insurance companies would kiss this Evil Regime’s unesteemed buttocks. A company must do what it can in order to survive. And I very much believe that for anyone in the private sector to survive these days, they must appear to be in Obama’s court. The same thing happened in pre WWII Germany.
Just since December, 2010, the HHS has issued 733 waivers to non-profits, companies and UNIONS. All but 222 of these waivers have been issued since January 1, 2011. (If you want to see the entire list, go here. But be warned; not only is this list long, I could not find any rhyme or reason to its organization.) According to the CNSNews.com article:
The health care law eliminates annual caps on coverage by 2014. Caps are limits, on how much an insurance plan will pay in benefits for an enrollee in any given year.
For employers that do not have waivers: In 2011, yearly caps can be no less than $750,000; in 2012, limits can be no less than $1.25 million; and caps can be no less than $2 million in 2013 before being eliminated by 2014.
The waivers allow certain companies, non-profits, and unions to impose whatever annual cap they want, essentially giving the company a privilege the rest of the country’s employers do not have.
One good thing that can give those of us who aren’t in the Emperor’s back pocket some hope is this. Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan), who is the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating these waivers! YAY for our team! The reason behind the investigation? Mostly because of the more than 160 waivers that have been dished out to the UNIONS! Among those are the SEIU, Teamsters and the International Food and Commercial Workers Unions. These unions, among loads of others are MAJOR contributors to democratic campaign funds. Conflict of interest, anyone?
I am certainly encouraged that our Republicans in the House are following through with their promise to not let this kind of back door politics and outright bribery go unanswered. I wish that they could do more. I really wish that we could hold the 2012 elections TOMORROW… because I have a feeling that with all the current shenanigans being perpetrated by the dimwits, even if the ballot said “generic republican”, the democrats would still lose. And that is what I find truly encouraging.
We have to keep letting this administration walk around showing their butts. After all, they do it so well. So, keep up the good work Kathleen “White Witch” Sebelius! Keep mouthing inanities and filthy lies, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Keep spouting inciting rhetoric, Michael Capuano (D-MA), telling the Unions that they are going to need to get a little bloody when necessary. You are doing our jobs for us. And in that (and only that) we support you 1000%!
Cigna Corporation – 265,000 enrollees
Aetna – 209,423 enrollees
Blue Cross Blue Shield (3 different divisions):
Excellus Blue Shield – 18,600 enrollees,
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee – 20,205 enrollees
High Mark WV, Inc. (also known as Mt. State Blue Cross Blue Shield) – 270 enrollees
Assurant Health Insurance – 19,024 employees
Integra Healthcare, Inc. – 358 enrollees
Azeros Health Plans, Inc. – 36 enrollees
First Carolina Care Insurance Co. – 36 enrollees