(Daily Caller) — The Daily Caller has learned the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) never had the authority to issue waivers from Obamacare’s annual limit requirements.
Language granting HHS that power was never in the original law. Instead, through new rules and regulations, HHS gave itself the power last summer using a broad interpretation of certain parts of the law.
The annual limit requirement waivers exempt recipients for one year from having to increase the amount of health care coverage they provide their workers. Each year between now and 2014, the minimum annual limit rises to a new, higher amount. Though the waivers are only for one year, recipients can reapply and be re-approved every year through 2014.
Heritage Foundation health policy expert Edmund Haislmaier said HHS “exceeded its statutory authority” by issuing such waivers.
“The first problem is that it appears HHS has exceeded its statutory authority in creating this waiver process,” Haislmaier said in testimony before the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on Health Care. “The statute does not explicitly grant HHS authority to waive the application of this provision.