Of Course: HHS Ends Obamacare Waivers, Claims Decision Was "Absolutely Not" Political

Posted: Jun 17, 2011 6:17 PM

The mother of all Friday night news dumps:

Removing a potential political distraction ahead of next year's elections, the Obama administration Friday announced an early end to a health care waiver program that has come under fire from congressional Republicans.

Political considerations were "absolutely not" part of the decision, said Steve Larsen, head of a section of the Health and Human Services department that oversees President Barack Obama's health care law.

Larsen said no new applications for waivers will be considered after Sept. 22. Approvals or renewals received by the deadline will be good through 2013. Starting in 2014, the main coverage provisions of the health care law will take effect, and such waivers will no longer be needed.

The waivers address a provision of the law that phases out annual dollar limits on coverage by health insurance plans. Starting this year, plans could not impose a limit below $750,000. But some plans, offered mainly to low-income workers, currently provide $50,000 a year in coverage, and in certain cases much less.

Those plans would have been forced to close down or jack up premiums significantly, leaving more people uninsured.

Obamacare waivers: Get 'em while they're hot not a political "distraction."  Question: Does a single human being on the planet believe Steve Larsen's assertion that politics had nothing to do with this call?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Hot Air's Allahpundit seems -- shall we say -- unpersuaded:

I don’t get it. Why would they want to end a politically toxic, deeply corrupt program just as Republican candidates are starting to hit the trail in earnest?

Altogether now: Repeal and replace.