Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a medical doctor, spoke via telephone to the weekly bloggers’ briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation today, discussing the new report from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), also an M.D., “GRIM DIAGNOSIS — A check-up on the federal health law.”
An attendee alluded to McDonalds winning a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services so it wouldn’t have to raise the minimum annual benefit in its low-cost health care plan offered to some employees. He asked if this kind of waiver invited partisan favoritism. Sen. Coburn responded:
I wouldn’t see it so much in partisan light. If in fact we’re going to have a different set of standards for McDonalds than we have for everybody else, and for Arby’s and everybody else, and then the next company that comes up and says, “We can’t do this, we need a waiver.: Then pretty soon you don’t have a program, what you have a mish mash, and nobody knows what it is. So it’s very dangerous.
What they’re trying to do is keep the first big company from saying, “We give up. We’re not offering health care anymore.” Because the first time, the first large company that does that, then the floodgates are going to open. And tons of companies are just going to say, “We’re paying the fine. We’re not offering health care any more. We’re going to pay our employees more money, plus the fine, and let them find out what they want to get in health care themselves.”…
And McDonald’s played it perfect. They shot a shot across the bow, and the Obama Administration said, “Oh no, we can’t have this…because look what will happen.” And so they’re going to fix this, and then the next that comes, they’re going to fix it, and the next one that’s going to come.
Again, it tells you the stupidity of this bill. If you have a rule, and you have the rule of law, and it applies unequally, if in fact you’re big enough or you’re well known enough, you’re going to get a different treatment than somebody that’s not.
That’s the whole problem with a lot of the aspects of the Obama Administration, the selective enforcement of the rule of law.
Coburn said he thought the different lawsuits challenging the federal health care law would all reach the Supreme Court.
- Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, previewing his trip to Cancun, Mexico, in December for the 2010 Climate Change Conference.
- Peter Wehner, a former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, on the book he co-authored with Michael Gerson, City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era.
- Ernest Istook Jr., a Heritage fellow and former congressman from Oklahoma, will share some of the suggestions he and other Heritage experts outlined in a WebMemo just published today, “Four Immediate Reforms to Change the Culture of Congress.”