Tim Huelskamp: Kathleen Sebelius Gives Unions Waivers, Ignores Kansas

Press release from Congressman Tim Huelskamp:

Since ObamaCare became law in 2010, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius has issued 1,231 compliance waivers to select unions and businesses as well as to politically-connected states. These waivers provide exemptions from having to comply with the burdensome requirements of ObamaCare. When Kansas Congressman Huelskamp gave his first speech on the House floor last January, he decried the favoritism being shown to labor unions and businesses with the resources to receive special “Annual Limit” exemptions from the law that is supposed to apply to everyone. Later in 2011, Congressman Huelskamp led the effort on Capitol Hill to force HHS to reveal the factors that go into the waiver process.

In addition to the waivers for labor unions and businesses, HHS has issued waivers to states, exempting them from having to meet the 80/20 Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Standard. This rule states that insurance companies must spend 80% or 85% of premium dollars on medical procedures. The State of Kansas was denied its MLR waiver last week. It is the eighth state to be denied; six states have been awarded their requested waivers.

Congressman Huelskamp issued the following remarks about last week’s developments:

“Kathleen Sebelius’ true colors are shining through,” Congressman Huelskamp said. “While Secretary Sebelius has found the time and reasoning to exempt more than half a million labor union members from having to comply with the onerous requirements of ObamaCare, she has somehow forgotten Kansas, the state she once governed. It’s obvious that labor unions have a special place in her heart while the people of Kansas were but mere stepping stones to her plush job in Washington.”

“When President Obama marketed his new health care law to the American people, he received no greater support than from labor unions. Since this health care plan was signed into law, nearly every request for a waiver by a labor union has been granted. If this law was so great, why are so many labor unions seeking freedom from it?”

“By denying the State of Kansas its waiver, HHS asserted that it understands best the needs of the Sunflower State. This top-down federal edict is just another example of Washington having little regard for the best interests of our diverse 50 states and the diverse insurance companies that provide coverage within each state.

“President Obama insists this health care law is the best plan for ALL American people, yet we have seen a long series of waiver requests granted for SOME. The President should not be in the business of picking winners and losers – waivers for some should be waivers for all. That is the very essence of equality under the law and individual freedom.”

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