Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) issued the following statement in response to news that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will no longer accept applications for waivers from the Democrats’ health care law after September 22, 2011. The agency also disclosed the list of employers that were denied an exemption from the law by the Obama Administration.
“For an Administration that promised to be ‘the most open and transparent ever,’ it is deeply troubling that they chose late on a Friday to finally reveal the information that Congress has requested for more than nine months. So continues the pattern of non-responsiveness that has become a hallmark of the Obama Administration.
“It is hard to imagine that the Administration would have ever taken this step at all had it not been for Republicans holding them accountable for their failed law. The Democrats instituted the waiver program to cover up the fact that their failed law would increase costs and force people out of the plan they have and like. Now, they are shutting it down because it’s become clear that the only way to keep what you have and like is to be exempted from the very law they said would lower costs.”
According to Administration data, to date, 1,433 waivers have been awarded to different companies and unions from the onerous mandates in the Democrats’ health care law. In a letter sent last month, Sen. Hatch and Rep. Camp questioned why the Obama Administration would not release the names of the companies that have been denied waivers by the Administration and requested explanation for why those waivers were denied. The lawmakers never received a response from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.