Indeed, the list of waivers of Obama-backing businesses and unions is long, and 38 in Pelosi's neck of the woods are just the latest to benefit from what presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota, says is the utlimate of case of reciprocal back-scratching.
Irony is, businesses who received the waivers used the very reason to apply for one that opponents of Obama's socialist mandates offered for opposing them in the first place.
The DC's report dug up some interesting recipients of the waivers. They are, The DC reports, "fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels." Indeed, the high-toned eatries serve food so expensive that the purported beneficiaries of ObamaCare, the hoi polloi, could never afford to eat at them.
The steaks run anywhere from $39 for a filet mignon to $59 for a porterhouse. Crab and lobster appetizers are $14. Salads cost $9. Diners can start their meals with a basil martini that costs $12. It is "perfectly balanced and shaken till icy."
Then, there’s Café des Amis, which describes its eating experience as “a timeless Parisian style brasserie” which is “located on one of San Francisco’s premier shopping and strolling boulevards, Union Street,” according to the restaurant’s Web site.
“Bacchus Management Group, in partnership with Perry Butler, is bringing you that same warm, inviting feeling, with a distinctive San Francisco spin,” the Web site reads. Somehow, though, the San Francisco upper class eatery earned itself a waiver from Obamacare because it apparently cost them too much to meet the law’s first year requirements.
The latest wave or waivers, The DC reports, included "27 new waivers for health care or drug companies and the 31 new union waivers."
Obama Friend And Union Waivers
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin has been tracking those who have received waivers as well. In her latest column, Malkin reported about REI, a company based in Seattle whose chief executive was yet another loud cheerleader for Obama's socialist mandates. But REI got a waiver for its nearly 2000 workers as well.
The trendy Pacific Northwest outdoor equipment retailer’s progressive CEO and Democratic campaign donor, Sally Jewell, appeared with President Obama in 2009 to tout White House health care reform initiatives. Two years later, REI snagged a waiver to protect the health benefits of a whopping 1,180 workers from the very tentacles of the big government bureaucrats Jewell embraced at Obama’s roundtable.
Beyond that, Malkin reports, millions of American workers have received waivers:
To date, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has granted federal health care law exemptions to more than three million American workers covered by more than 1,300 unions, companies and insurers who had voluntarily offered low-cost health plans with annual benefits limits. Meddling Obamacare architects outlawed those private plans — nicknamed “mini med” plans — in the name of “patients’ rights.” But without special waivers, the escapees would have been forced to hike premiums or drop insurance coverage altogether for mostly low-wage, seasonal and part-time workers.
Among the unions receiving waviers, Malkin reports, are locals for the Teamsters, Communications Workers of America and Service Employees International Union.
Last year, Malkin divulged the break the Obama Administration gave to fast-food giant McDonald's and Jack in the Box.
One recipient of the waiver in San Francisco, The Hill reports, is a Republican who says Pelosi played no role in getting the waiver. But that doesn't matter, says candidate Pawlenty.
Pawlenty told Fox News talker Sean Hannity the waivers are "[a]nother example of really crony politics or crony capitalism, if you've got the right connections, the right lobbyists, the right interest group, you get your special deal, and the rest of us get our wallet out, and that's in the tax code, it's in earmarking, and now you see it in ObamaCare."
And, he noted, the if ObamaCare requires as many waivers as the administration is giving out, then something must be wrong with the law.
"I don't blame people for trying to get out from underneath it — that it is an awful law," Pawlenty said. "But when you have that many needs for exemptions, it tells you that the law — it is a warning sign that the law is broken and doesn't work."
Pelosi responded to Waiver-Gate thusly: "It is pathetic that there are those who would be cheering for Americans to lose their minimum health coverage or see their premiums increase for political purposes," he spokesman said.
Critics note that higher insurance premiums are among the reasons they opposed Obama's socialist health mandates.