HHS approves 200 more new healthcare reform waivers

by
May 16, 2011

By Julian Pecquet -The Hill

The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Democrats’ healthcare reform law over the past month, bringing the total to 1,372.

The waivers are temporary and only apply to one provision of the law, which requires health plans to offer at least $750,000 worth of annual medical benefits before leaving patients to fend for themselves. Still, Republicans have assailed the waivers as a sign of both favoritism and of major problems with the law.

“The fact that over 1,000 waivers have been granted is a tacit admission that the healthcare law is fundamentally flawed,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in March. Upton is one of three House committee chairmen who has used new oversight powers to investigate the annual limit waivers.

Administration officials say the law allows the Health and Human Services Department to grant the waivers to avoid disrupting the insurance market before the law overhauls the insurance system in 2014. They say the waivers are granted through a transparent process.

 

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