Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Obamacare Supporter Asks for Obamacare Waiver

In case you hadn’t seen it, Kaiser Health News earlier this week included an interview with former Democrat Governor Mark Parkinson, the head of the American Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes.  In that interview, Parkinson said “we supported [Obamacare] and we continue to do so….there are no regrets.”  He went on however to say that “a minority of our members – those nursing homes that tend to…have a disproportionate share of Medicaid residents (which frankly they lose a lot of money on) – those are the members that find it challenging to provide health insurance” that would meet Obamacare’s standards, “so we are working with the Administration to figure out if there is some accommodation that can be made for these very high-Medicaid-population facilities so that they can be also [sic] in compliance with the law.”

These seemingly contradictory statements raise obvious questions:

  • If the law is so positive, why is the same association that endorsed it seeking a waiver from it?
  • Is it only nursing homes that should be granted “some accommodation” from the law’s onerous mandates?  What about other job creators struggling to cope with the cost of government mandates at a time of continued sluggish economic growth?
  • Will the Administration look more favorably on this request for a waiver because the trade association endorsed Obamacare and still claims to support it?
  • If the nursing home industry is being so squeezed by low Medicaid reimbursements that it can’t afford to offer health insurance, then why on earth did Democrats think it was a good idea to expand the program further to as many as 25 million individuals, placing at least $118 billion in new mandates on states that can’t afford the programs they have now?