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Over Half of All Obamacare Waivers Given to Union Members

9:20 AM, May 16, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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In what is fast becoming a weekly event, the Obama administration granted 200 more companies waivers from the Democrats' sweeping health care law in the Friday night news dump. That brings the number of companies receiving waivers to 1,372. (You can get a full list of the companies exempted here.)

Not surprisingly, it helps to be a Democratic ally when seeking a waiver. The Republican Policy Committee reports that over half of the workers that have been exempted so far belong to unions:

The plans newly approved for waivers cover more than 160,000 people, bringing to nearly 3.1 million the number of individuals in plans exempted from the health law’s requirements.  Of the participants receiving waivers, more than half – over 1.55 million – are in union plans, raising questions of why such a disproportionate share of union members are receiving waivers from the law’s requirements.  The percentage of participants receiving waivers that come from unions also continues to rise – the number was 48% in April, and 45% in March.

Unions already received a generous concession in the health care bill. Their generous "cadilac" insurance plans were exempted from being taxed until 2018, adding about $120 billion to the bill’s cost over ten years. For more on how the administration has helped unions, see my story in THE WEEKLY STANDARD from a few weeks ago.

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