Waivers For Everyone

Republican congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan has been flipping through those 1000+ waivers granted to ObamaCare, and noticed they all apply to labor unions, large corporations, and one entire state.  So far, individuals and small businesses have been unable to get one of those wonderful waivers, but Rogers plans to address this injustice with his Health Care Waiver Fairness Act.

“If the SEIU gets a waiver and McDonald’s gets a waiver…shouldn’t the average person who’s impacted by this get a waiver too?” Rogers asked in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.  His Act would allow all businesses to apply for waivers to the mandate to offer government-approved health insurance, just like the special privilege enjoyed by the Teamsters and Waffle House.

Rogers also wants to allow individuals to apply for waivers from the notorious “individual mandate” to purchase health insurance, but U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson is way ahead of him there, having already granted 350 million such waivers.

The Act has picked up a Democrat co-sponsor, Dan Boren of Oklahoma.  If it were to pass, it would spell the end of ObamaCare as surely as the Supreme Court upholding Judge Vinson’s ruling, for like all socialist schemes, it relies entirely on the compulsive force of law – no one in their right minds would willingly participate in ObamaCare unless (almost) everyone else is forced to do so, any more than the liberal millionaires who complain about low tax rates would voluntarily pay more in taxes.  Force is the objective, not voluntary co-operation.

Rogers has said that “every American and employer deserves the opportunity to receive a waiver from the new health care law if it’s driving up costs and limiting services, not just the politically connected.”  Every central planning scheme drives up costs and limits services.  The government cannot distribute anything without making it more expensive. 

Among other things, the cost of forcing compliance with a government mandate will always cause a product or service to end up with a higher price than it would have commanded in a competitive free market.  To this must be added the indirect cost of avoidance behaviors, which companies and individuals follow to escape from these enforcement efforts.  Since avoidance behavior is always less economically beneficial than the preferred behavior of free citizens, it destroys a great deal of wealth.  For example, consider the avoidance behaviors used to escape high levels of taxation, which invariably result in reduced economic activity.

Of course, the name of the game for statists is to hide that increased cost, so the chosen beneficiaries of their policies think they’re getting something for “free.”  Allowing everyone to apply for a straightforward waiver from ObamaCare would greatly reduce the cost of compliance and avoidance… and, of course, it would destroy ObamaCare, because the confused people left milling around in the bloated corpse of the system would no longer be under any illusions that it was making anything cheaper, or more accessible.