The House Republican Energy and Commerce Committee hasn't let up on ObamaCare -- and for good reason. The health care legislation now has record disapproval and has clearly been a hindrance to American business. Most noticably, McDonald's Corporation was faced with dropping health insurance for lower-income empoyees. With this kind of threat, GOPers are asking the tough questions. See what Congressmen Joe Barton (TX), John Shimkus (Ill) and Mirchael Burgess (TX) asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about:
-- According to USA Today, HHS has granted waivers so that “thirty companies and organizations…won’t be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans.” What companies or organizations were granted this waiver, and how many employees will this affect? Please provide a copy of both the waivers and a detailed description of the effects of the waivers.
--Have any companies or organizations asked for the waiver discussed in the USA Today article but not been granted one? If so, what companies or organizations were denied this waiver and why?
-- As mentioned previously, according to The Wall Street Journal the issue is not merely whether the companies are granted waivers, but whether the insurers that offer these plans will be able to comply with new medical-loss ratios. Has HHS been contacted by any insurers to date about such a waiver to the ratio requirement? If so, please provide the names of the insurance companies that have done so. Has HHS granted any waivers of any kind to certain insurers, and if so what did those waivers entail?
-- Exempting these employers from coverage requirements and penalties will likely affect the cost estimates of the health care law. Has HHS calculated the effect of the waivers on the reported cost of the law? Please provide us with any information HHS holds on each exempted plan so that the impact of these exemptions may be examined.
The letter can be found here. (PDF)