Obamacare mandated a percentage of premiums be used by health insurance company for patient care. Several large employers ( McDonalds and others) complained that would not allow them to continues to offer low premium health coverage to their lower paid employees.( It should be noted that there is some controversy if McDonald really complained or not, but that is not the major point).
The point is that the Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius waived the requirements for one year for certain employers and one large union welfare fund.
Ed Morrissey made this comment regarding this incident:
The Rule of Law depends on an environment with clear regulation and unbiased enforcement. From the start, ObamaCare lacked any clarity in regulation. Congress filled the bill with the phrase "The Secretary shall determine" in place of establishing rules and regulations for the massive regulatory regime Congress created. Now, the White House has added arbitrary enforcement to uncertain regulation and opaque processes. This is not the Rule of Law, but the Whim of Autocracy.
Obamacare contains hundreds of pages with anything but clear regulation and to expect unbiased enforcement is to believe in the power of fairy dust so much power being given by the four little words found throughout the bill "the secretary (of HHS) shall determine".
Both the AMA and ACP have congratulated themselves for their support of the bill because it served "social justice".
Are the actions of the HHS secretary an example of this social justice? Social justice by favoritism (catalyzed by the proximity of the upcoming election in this instance) is what they got.
What else they ( and all of us) may have gotten is more regime uncertainty. This is a term or concept developed and emphasized by the economist Robert Higgs. Higgs's thesis is that at least an important element in the prolongation of the great depression was the business uncertainty brought about by the actions of FDR. Simply put they were afraid to invest because they didn't know what the administration in Washington would do next. See here.
Higgs suggest a similar situation exist now. We have had some but not all major financial institutions bailed out with tax payers money,we have had some auto manufacturers bailed out and we now have some employers exempted for some provisions of a massive new law with powers so sweeping that one of its major effect is a deep and wide uncertainty.
Nancy Pelosi's comment that we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it was only partly true.When enforcement or administration of law is arbitrary we will be finding out piece by piece what it means with no way of predicting what will happen next.