The importance of knowing Nancy 

The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle has a great catch today on a batch of Obamacare waivers issued by HHS last month:

Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.

Pelosi’s district secured almost 20 percent of the latest issuance of waivers nationwide, and the companies that won them didn’t have much in common with companies throughout the rest of the country that have received Obamacare waivers.

Before hanging up on TheDC, Tru Spa’s owner said new government health care regulations, both the federal-level Obamacare and new local laws in Northern California, have “devastated” the business. “It’s been bad for us,” he said, without divulging his name, referring to the new health care restrictions.

But not every small business owner is lucky enough to be located in Pelosi’s district. Examiner columnist Mona Charen writes about “waivers as weapons” in today’s paper:

The world of Obamacare is no place for the little guy. The danger of waiver power is that it will be used differentially, giving one private entity a competitive advantage over another. The company denied a waiver can bring suit — but litigation is expensive and slow.

Charen’s column quotes heavily from New York University law professor Richard Epstein’s “Government by Waiver” article in this spring’s National Affairs. Epstein concludes:

The fate of our rights and liberties is left to the wisdom and discretion of individuals; we are therefore governed by men, not by laws. It was this exact circumstance that our system of government was designed to avoid: As James Madison noted in Federalist No. 10, “enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” In this sense, the problem of government by waiver shows us just how far we have strayed from the intentions of those who created our system of government — and how we risk betraying their hope that we might preserve it.

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Conn Carroll

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