Friday, July 5, 2013

White House's Pattern of ObamaCare Capitulation - Governance By Favoritism

The White House is now taking some serious criticism from friendly places.  Are we witnessing the beginning of an unravelling? 

How could we not be reminded of Weezer's Sweater Song - Undone? 

This is from David Nather at Politico

The delay of Obamacare’s employer coverage rules is giving the critics plenty of new ammunition — but that doesn’t mean the sudden movement is out of character for the administration at all.

It’s just the latest example of a pattern with the implementation of Obamacare: The Obama administration almost always listens to the squeaky wheel.

First more than 1,200 employers and health plans got waivers from early coverage rules. Next, many states that couldn’t decide whether to build a health insurance exchange or let the feds do it for them were given repeated extensions. And then, when Republican governors were holding out on expanding Medicaid, they were finally told there’s no deadline at all. 

So when the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would delay the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate for employers for a year, it was just one more piece of evidence that the administration is perfectly willing to bend the rules for some powerful interests — a welcome invitation for other players to raise their hands in the coming months as the law heads into overdrive.

Already, other groups are grumbling at the decision.

It’s not going over so well with hospitals, for example, who are worried that the delay means they won’t have as many newly insured patients as they’d expected.

On Wednesday, Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said the delay is “troubling for those individuals who will not gain coverage through their employer. … We are concerned that the delay further erodes the coverage that was envisioned as part of the ACA.”

Hospitals have a vested interest in that coverage — because they’re facing a round of cuts in payments for the cost of treating uninsured patients. So they’re pushing for — you guessed it — a delay in those cuts.

And one of the Obama administration’s main labor allies — the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka — dropped a strong hint Wednesday that the unions want the same kind of attention that the businesses got. In a statement, he said the delay was “troubling” because it could weaken the incentive for large employers to keep offering health coverage....

It’s also a vivid example of how Obamacare illustrates the broader pattern of Barack Obama’s presidency — offering up concessions to his political opponents that never quite win them over, like his “grand bargain” talks with House Speaker John Boehner and, more recently, his endorsement of the “chained CPI” proposal to slow the growth of Social Security benefits....