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May 20, 2011

Exemptions from Obamacare Continue: Now it's the AARP

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Other than unions, no group was more supportive of Obamacare than the AARP which spent millions on advertising in support of Obama's costly (in terms of both rising costs and deteriorating quality), and highly unpopular, healthcare plan, and millions more lobbying for it. Now the Medigap - the AARP's insurance business that competes with Medicare Advantage (a program AARP lobbied to have hamstrung by OBamacare), just got a waiver from complying with the law (hat tip - Rob Port).

Matthew Boyle writes at The Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rate review rules, which it finalized on Thursday, exempt "Medigap" policy providers, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from oversight when such providers increase payment rates for their supplemental insurance plans.

Insurance providers who aren't exempt from Obamacare's rate review rules are required to publicly release and explain some health care payment rate increases.

The AARP is the nation's biggest seller of Medigap policies, or supplemental healthcare plans that add onto what Medicare won't cover for seniors. The senior citizens interest group advocated for Obamacare to include an attack on Medigap policies' biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage.

Though the White House and HHS dismiss allegations of political favoritism when it comes to who's getting exceptions from the new health care regulations -- such as in the recent uproar over the disproportionate number of Obamacare waivers that went to companies in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's district -- Obamacare critics say the mere appearance of the administration helping friends is disturbing.

The appearance of favoritism exists with the new AARP exemptions, too. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sens. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last October asking her not to do what HHS just finalized today -- that is exempt Medigap policies from the HHS rate increase oversight.

[...] it's clear that the AARP is set to make millions, if not billions, of extra dollars in Medigap plan sales moving forward because they've effectively knocked out their biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage, through Obamacare.

Read more.

Cronyism? You bet. Even worse, the very people that saddled the rest of us with Obamacare are the very ones that are getting out of it. Worse yet, the AARP gets to make millions (if not billions) by having Obama knock out their competition.

Posted by Richard at May 20, 2011 10:54 AM

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