Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations said at a hearing that the waivers are further proof that the reform law is deeply flawed.
“I think it is an understatement to say that these waivers have been controversial,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), subcommittee chairman. “Obamacare was sold as all benefit—no downside.”
Plans granted waivers represent about 2.4 million people, or about 1% of the employer-based coverage market overall, according to HHS. Florida, Tennessee, New Jersey and Ohio were among the waiver recipients.
“The overriding purpose of this waiver program is to ensure that Americans do not lose their health coverage before better health insurance options become available in 2014,” Steven Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the CMS, said in prepared testimony.