Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Best health care political pull can buy by Dr. Paul Hsieh

This article by Dr. Paul Hsieh explains how Obamacare will not only shrink competition in health care services it will lead to another kind of undesirable competition.

Yet while Obamacare is suppressing genuine marketplace competition for medical services, it is also spurring a more sinister facsimile of competition - for political favors. Employers and insurers with sufficient political clout can save money by obtaining a much-coveted "waiver," exempting them from onerous new insurance regulations. The 222 current recipients of such waivers include popular employers such as McDonald's and Universal Orlando as well as the Service Employees Benefit Fund, which insures members of the Service Employees International Union (a major political supporter of the Obama administration). Because these waivers are granted at the discretion of the secretary of health and human services, they create easy opportunities for political favoritism and corruption.

Nor will the political favor-seeking be limited to insurance waivers. If the Obamacare individual insurance mandate survives current legal challenges, it will also spur a lobbying frenzy from special-interest groups seeking to include their pet benefits in the mandatory insurance package Americans must purchase.

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