Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald’s may be forced to drop health coverage for nearly 30,000 employees as a result of ObamaCare. Today, the New York Times reports that McDonald’s, as well as dozens of other companies, will be granted waivers to get around the onerous new requirements imposed by the new law. At issue in the case of McDonald’s was something called the medical loss ratio, which says that insurers have to spend at least 85 cents out of every dollar they collect in premiums, on paying out claims. The problem is, that it’s difficult to achieve such a ratio for lower benefit plans, or if you’re a smaller insurer — in both cases, there’s a certain bare minimum administrative costs that you’re going to need.
Yet by granting waivers to avert PR nightmares, like the news of McDonald’s dropping coverage, it also adds another disturbing element to the ObamaCare regime. Those companies with the best access and lobbyists are in the best position to be granted a waiver. Bureaucrats can choose to apply a different set of rules to different businesses, and in some cases those rules can determine whether a given business survives. Thus, the waivers themselves are another example of the arbitrary nature of government power.