Who Is Permitted To Escape Obamacare?

Tom at Federalist Paupers is wondering:

Via Peter Suderman, some 200+ organizations representing half a percent of the total US workforce have successfully applied for waivers to ObamaCare’s mandate for all-bells-and-whistles employee health insurance.  In other words, these companies don’t need to insure their part-time workers like the rest of us do and can continue to use older systems that provide less-than-awesome health insurance for their employees.  Good news for those companies and their part-time employees, who likely would have been laid off otherwise.

As Suderman notes, however, the review process for these waivers is completely opaque; essentially, the Department of Health & Human Services can approve whomever it likes for whatever reason it wants.  Though this may come as a shock, the average of these organizations has nearly 7,000 employees (the median number drops to 643); to one’s further amazement, a great many of them are local unions or otherwise politically-connected.

Hmmm. Perhaps all the waivers so far issued are legitimate - and 0.5 percent is not that big a loophole. Regardless, why is there such an opaque rule-making process whereby the federal government treats various private enterprises unequally? If waivers are to be granted, we need transparency. You know: like Obama promised.