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Health Care Waivers
Posted by Randy | May 20, 2011

To date, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has approved 1,372 waivers of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), covering 3.1 million Americans. President Obama’s new health care law empowers the Secretary of HHS to issue these waivers in order to exempt companies and organizations from certain compliance requirements.

HHS grants waivers in cases where it determines that the new health care law would be disruptive to the individual market. According to HHS, applications for the waivers “are reviewed on a case by case basis by Department officials who look at a series of factors” in order to determine whether a waiver is “necessary to prevent either a large increase in premiums or a significant decrease in access to coverage.” In order words, waivers are issued at the discretion of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

So far, three states—including Nevada, New Hampshire, and Maine—have secured statewide waivers based on determinations from HHS that compliance with the controversial health care law would be too burdensome and costly. Waivers have also been granted to big corporations and labor unions. Meanwhile, everyone else, including countless small businesses, are left struggling to comply with the unworkable law.

These waivers are proof that the new health care law is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repealed.

I have consistently supported legislation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

  • Defunded controversial health care law. I cosponsored H.R.127 to defund President Obama’s health care law. This bill specifically prohibits any funds from being authorized to implement any provisions within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.


  • Opposed funding to implement the controversial health care law.  I supported an amendment (H.Amdt.102) prohibiting the use of funds to pay any employee, officer, contractor, or grantee of any department or agency to implement the provisions of the controversial new health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  This amendment passed by a vote of 239-187.


  • Prevented expansion of IRS necessitated by the controversial health care law.  I re-introduced H.R.334, the Prevent IRS Overreach Act of 2011. The bill prohibits a massive expansion of the IRS that would be necessary to enforce the new health care law. The bill would prohibit the IRS from hiring or designating any personnel to force millions of American families and small businesses to comply with onerous health care regulations, including the unconstitutional mandate to purchase the health insurance.


  • Supported repeal of the President’s health care law.  I supported H.R.2 repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated H.R.2 will prevent $770 billion in tax increases and reduce spending by $540 billion. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Small Business Survey found tax paperwork associated with the health care legislation, costing $74 an hour, is the most expensive burden placed on small businesses by the Federal Government. This bill passed by a vote of 245-189.

  • Initiated drafting replacement health care legislation.  I supported H.Res.9 instructing the Committees on Education and Workforce, Energy and Commerce, the Judiciary, and Ways and Means to report legislation to improve the nation’s health care system.  Several aspects of the legislation will include prohibiting job-restricting policies and regulations, reducing the cost of health care, and preventing taxpayer funding of abortions. This bill passed by a vote of 253-175.


  • Initiated repeal of health care legislation.  I supported H.Res.26, the House Rule that establishes guidelines for the debate of Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act and initiates a repeal of the health care legislation that was signed into law last year. This bill passed by a vote of 236-181.

Read more here.

Agree or disagree? The controversial health care law’s waivers are proof that the law needs to be repealed.

What do you think? Weigh in:
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  • Thomas Griswold commented on 5/21/2011
    Well Congressman Forbes...there you go again. There has been considerable misinformation coming out of conservative talk radio on these waivers in recent days. The new health care law is complex. There were numerous attempts to find other approaches to this problem but clearly the GOP chose instead to focus on the outrageous myths of death panel fame and beyond. These waivers are temporary and do not exempt compliance with the law in a broad sense. The waivers provide time for the phase out of annual limits to coverages that are part of programs now offered by the insurance industry. Entities receiving waivers are still required to comply with other provisions of the legislation. Doesn't one have to ask questions about annual limits in the first place? Are you going to be 1/3 sick, 4/5ths, etc. America desperately needs health care legislation and to support repeal is way out of touch with the sentiment of the American people. There may be debate over the specifics but it certainly isn't being publicized by the republican party. It's time for those who oppose this vitally important legislation to step up and advance their case with arguments on the specifics. I suspect the primary reason this is not happening is because the argument is so weak it would be embarrassing to do so. It's ok with the American people to tweak the law to make it better. President Obama has long signaled a willingness to do this. The clock is ticking here...the big bad waivers are for an astonishing 1 year!!!
  • Allen Shepard commented on 6/24/2011
    I agree with your goals but would like to see our current systems of medicaide and medicare fixed and then offered to everyone making less than 40k a year gross or 20k a year net. Additional income to cover the system paid by everyone - including those on public assitance from their income tax or public assistance check. The President just released preventative health care. Here we should reach out to the poor with free drug testing and health counseling to improve their lives and social welfare. I hope this addresses Mr. Griswold's issues as well.
  • Roger Shell commented on 6/25/2011
    Congressman Forbes, This is a humble request from a American Citizen Subj; State of United states of the America The American People need down to earth American fundamentalist representation not empty words endorsing a theoretical social agenda. Please don't let this time be recorded in history books where the United States of America declines or meets it's demise. The events which have occurred in the last few years read like pages from a Hollywood movie script. These antics are beneath the United Sates of America. The morals of the United States of America are to be honored and cherished not compromised or to become a bargaining chip for political purposes. This is a Great country. I implore you and your fellow members to correct these injustices and bring The United States of America back to it's former Glory. Where the People are Proud to be citizens of the United States of American and the country is a Beacon of Hope to the World.
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