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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Health Law Waivers Draw Kudos, and Criticism

From The New York Times:

Obama administration officials say they were expecting praise from critics of the new health care law when they offered to exempt selected employers and labor unions from a requirement to provide at least $750,000 in coverage to each person in their health insurance plans this year.

Instead, Republicans have seized on the waivers as just more evidence that the law is fundamentally flawed because, they say, it requires so many exceptions. To date, for example, the administration has relaxed the $750,000 standard for more than 1,000 health plans covering 2.6 million people.

The waivers have become a flash point as supporters and opponents try to shape public perceptions of the law, the Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama last March 23.

Waivers are usually seen as a way to deal with exceptional circumstances in which the enforcement of a law or policy might cause hardship. But with the new health care law, exceptions like these have become increasingly common. They provide wiggle room in a law originally thought to be strict and demanding.

President Obama recently embraced legislation that would let states opt out of the law’s most contentious provisions, including a requirement for most Americans to carry insurance, if the states come up with alternatives that cover at least as many people.

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