In a European-style corporate state, very large corporations (and their unions) get special protections, privileges, and exemptions, to the detriment of consumers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and taxpayers. Here we go, via Russ Roberts:
Nearly a million workers won't get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers.
Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn't lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether.
Without waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014.
"The big political issue here is the president promised no one would lose the coverage they've got," says Robert Laszewski, chief executive officer of consulting company Health Policy and Strategy Associates. "Here we are a month before the election, and these companies represent 1 million people who would lose the coverage they've got."
Actually, the real political question is why McDonald's gets special treatment, but the folks who run the deli downstairs in my building, who effectively compete with McDonald's, does not get to operate under the same law, merely because they are not large enough to get the President's special attention.