Trainwreck: Billions Have Been Wasted On Failed Obamacare Exchanges

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 11, 2016 2:35 PM
Trainwreck: Billions Have Been Wasted On Failed Obamacare Exchanges

Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, told Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that a “fair portion” of the losses would be recovered in the event that an Obamacare exchange sank. Americans for Tax Reform feels that the “fair portion” should be close to 100 percent since the federal government doled out $5.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to help fund President Obama’s health care reform. So far, the recovery totals are “non-existent,” with hundreds of millions of dollars being misappropriated:

To date, recovery of the billions in wasted state exchange funds has been near non-existent, despite failed exchanges in Oregon, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Nevada costing taxpayers $733 million.

In fact, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, these four states have returned ZERO dollars to the federal government, and state exchanges collectively have so far returned just $1 million.

But the waste doesn’t end there, as “working” state exchanges including Vermont, Minnesota, Maryland, and Massachusetts have each misused as much as hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds.

Further, an investigation led by House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) found that federal officials were unable to provide information on the long-term sustainability of remaining exchanges, and were unable to defend the four failed state exchanges.

This investigation also raised concerns that failed exchanges may have improperly kept user fees even after transferring all functionality to the federally run Healthcare.gov.

Of all state exchange failures, the most alarming story is undoubtedly Cover Oregon. A recently uncovered email confirmed the accusations that the $305 million exchange was run by partisan political advisors focused solely on then-Governor John Kitzhaber’s 2014 reelection.

On top of this mess, there’s the whole other fact that premiums under Obamacare are set to spike this year. In North Carolina, health care companies, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, might have to withdraw from the Obamacare market since five percent of their Obamacare recipients consumed $830 million in health care costs, while only receiving $75 million in premiums; that’s with the subsidy. The whole law is an abject disaster. How do we know this? The very people it’s meant to help are paying the penalty to remain uninsured…because it’s more economical for them.