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Equality Under the Law?

Kathleen Sebelius more or less unilaterally decides to whom Obamacare applies.

11:45 AM, Oct 7, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The New York Times reports that the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been busy granting selective waivers to Obamacare's mandates, restrictions, and requirements. The Times reports that, “To date, the administration has given about 30 insurers, employers and union plans, responsible for covering about one million people, one-year waivers on the new rules that phase out annual limits on coverage for limited-benefit plans, also known as 'mini-meds,'” and that "[a]mong those that administration officials hoped to mollify with waivers were some big insurers, some smaller employers and McDonald’s, which went so far as to warn that the regulations could force it to strip workers of existing coverage."

Equality Under the Law?

Kathleen Sebelius

The Times observes, "How much the administration can, or should, compromise in ways that could dilute the effect of the new law in the next few years is a subject of much debate, depending on the politics from state to state or the economic dynamics in a particular market." 

The bigger question is just how problematic it is that HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius can more or less unilaterally decide to whom the law applies and to whom it doesn't – and when, where, and under what circumstances.  The Obama administration was supposed to be "post-partisan."  Now, in the post-Obamacare world of politicized health care, the administration – with the help of lobbyists – can pick favorites and thus largely determine the winners and losers – even after a law has been passed.  No wonder most Americans support repeal.

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