The Hill, March 11, 2011
The 1,000-plus waivers granted by the Obama administration to a portion of the healthcare reform law have become a political liability for the White House. Republicans are accusing the administration of rewarding Democratic allies in the labor movement with the waivers, which exempt recipients from the reform law's annual coverage limits. They say the large number of waivers granted so far -- 1,040 as of Thursday -- is proof that the law is unworkable and should be repealed. The drumbeat of GOP criticism has grown louder as the waiver awards have increased. Approval of waiver requests has jumped from 222 to almost 730 in December, and another 300 have been approved since then. The Department of Health and Human Services says waiver requests have slowed during the past two months, but that hasn't quelled the GOP outcry.