SB828 Supporters Tout Federal § 1332 Waivers, But Is That a Good Thing?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASB828 by Senator David Sanders, hands over enormous power  to bureaucrats. Supporters of the bill tout it as a way to promote “innovation” in health care and insurance and as a way to overcome some offensive Obamacare requirements through obtaining Federal § 1332 waivers.  But it turns out that § 1332 waivers are not all sunshine and lollipops as they claim.

The Foundation for Governmental Accountability just released a statement and a report to the contrary.  Here is a link to the FGA executive summary.  We highly recommend that you read FGA’s full report: The Obamacare Straightjacket: Section 1332 Waivers Are a Fool’s Errand, Not an Obamacare Escape Hatch.

Below is the text of the news release by the Foundation for Governmental Accountability.

Contact: Charles Siler
202-487-8652

  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OBAMACARE’S 1332 WAIVERS CREATE ILLUSION OF FLEXIBILITY WHILE EXPANDING THE WELFARE STATE
WAIVERS PUT STATE TAXPAYERS ON THE HOOK FOR FEDERAL WELFARE PROGRAMS

 State lawmakers around the country are looking for every opportunity to unshackle their citizens from the disaster that is ObamaCare, and many are considering Section 1332 waivers to give their states more flexibility under the Affordable Care Act. The truth is that ObamaCare’s 1332 waivers don’t offer the states any opportunity to reduce costs, and state taxpayers then assume all the risk for funding cost overruns, according to a report released today by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA).

Rather than being an escape hatch from ObamaCare, the 1332 waivers that were created by the President’s signature law put the states in a straightjacket, forcing them to become Washington’s partners in expanding the welfare state.

ObamaCare’s 1332 waivers prevent states from implementing any meaningful reform, while providing only the illusion of flexibility. Under ObamaCare’s 1332 waiver, states must still:

  • Provide the same ObamaCare benefits.
  • Offer the same ObamaCare cost sharing.
  • Cover the same number of ObamaCare enrollees.
  • Put their taxpayers on the hook for any cost overruns.

“These waivers are nothing more than a shell game, where the Obama administration is luring state lawmakers in with false promises of flexibility and then binding them with restrictions before turning them into accomplices in the expansion of ObamaCare and government dependence,” said Jonathan Ingram, FGA research director and an author of the report.

“Lawmakers who are pursuing these waivers to obtain more flexibility and a way out of ObamaCare are on a fool’s errand. Rather than being a way out of ObamaCare, these waivers were created by ObamaCare, not to allow the states a way out or a way around the law, but to leverage the states to help expand it. You don’t get out of ObamaCare by cementing ObamaCare into state law.”

A report prepared for the Arkansas legislature looking into the alleged flexibility offered by a 1332 waiver, for example, found that the waiver would only allow lawmakers to make ObamaCare more generous, and at the state’s expense. In Vermont, Gov. Peter Shumlin proposed using a 1332 waiver for his “Green Mountain Care” program, which was a universal single-payer system, before he had to scrap the idea altogether after it became apparent the cost to taxpayers would have been astronomical.

While the states should continue to seek every means available to rollback ObamaCare, 1332 waivers are nothing more than a honeypot without the honey. The FGA’s paper, “The ObamaCare Straightjacket,” outlines the folly of expecting flexibility from ObamaCare. The paper can be read here.

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To schedule an interview, please contact Charles Siler with the Foundation for Government Accountability at (202) 487-8652 or charles@thefga.org.