Dude, Where’s My Waiver?

“Let me be exactly clear about what health care reform means to you. First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.”

–President Obama, 2009

Having said that, you wouldn’t think a waiver protecting you from the health care law that was allegedly intended to protect your health care would be a necessity, would you?

Nearly a million workers won’t get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers.

Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald’s (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won’t be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn’t lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether.

Without waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014.

The government went out of their way to keep the dollar menu from becoming the five-dollar menu, thus saving money on their lunch hours, but the rest of us might not be so lucky. The waiver is only temporary though, just to get Democrats through the election without a million people being dumped from their health coverage because the Democrats helped them out so much.

Here’s one for the irony file:

The biggest single waiver, for 351,000 people, was for the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, a New York union providing coverage for city teachers. The waivers are effective for a year and were granted to insurance plans and companies that showed that employee premiums would rise or that workers would lose coverage without them, Santillo says.

The same people who supported pushing off Obamacare on the entire country have received protection from it. It’s good ta be da union.

Can the media please stop referring to something that consumers are running from like the plague as a “consumer protection” now?