October 8 2010
The Big Question: Should McDonald's Get a Pass on Health Reform?
Waivers or Not, The Law Is A Disaster
McDonald's shouldn't get a waiver, but such a waiver shouldn't be necessary. In fact, the real question shouldn't be whether the Obama administration should grant McDonald's a waiver, but why such waivers should be necessary at all.
This situation with McDonald's, which may end up dropping coverage for up to 30,000 employees depending on what regulations emerge from the Administration, exemplifies much of what's wrong with the health care bill. It's not just that all the government mandates will drive up the cost of providing health care, which will encourage some employers to drop coverage, others to decrease wages to make up for higher benefit costs, and still others to cut employees and outsource jobs. The even more fundamental problem is that no one knows exactly what the effects of this health care bill will be because so much discretion and authority is granted to government bureaucrats.
Companies don't know the rules they will have to operate under, what their new costs and responsibilities will be, and under what circumstances the Administration might cut them a break with a waiver. Imagine all of the money and time being spent by companies petitioning the government for exemptions or rules that will work in their favor. This will advantage some larger companies over others, and is public policy at it's worse.
The law should be the law; it shouldn't be up to the bureaucracy to decide when to enforce the law and when to let it slide.