GOP Lawmakers Question Obamacare Loan Program

Image: GOP Lawmakers Question Obamacare Loan Program

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 09:59 AM

By Lisa Barron

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A group of Republican lawmakers have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to explain $2 billion in loans to non-profit health insurance issuers known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs, and whether the taxpayer dollars will be returned.
"Recent events, including the rollout of the health care marketplace exchanges on October 1, have deepened our concerns about the success of CO-OPs and the probability of taxpayers being repaid for the $2 billion that was loaned to these plans," they wrote Wednesday in a letter spearheaded by Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll
The lawmakers cited two reports by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that identified several risks within the CO-OP program, noting, "11 of 16 CO-OPs reported estimated startup expenditures . . . that exceeded the total startup funding ultimately provided," producing a "risk that CO-OPs exhaust all startup loan funding before they are fully operational or before they earn sufficient operating income to be self-supporting."
In addition to Hatch, the letter was signed by Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Republican Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana.
The letter isn't the first time members of Congress have asked for information about the new Obamacare loans to non-profit insurers offering qualified health plans to individuals and small groups, reports WorldNetDaily

Last year, a similar group of Republican senators and representatives wrote to Sebelius about the funding and structure of the CO-OP program.
The latest letter states, "When we wrote to you in May 2012, we noted that there was little evidence that the CO-OP program would promote greater competition and lower costs in most state insurance markets, and we questioned whether HHS had significantly underestimated the financial risk."

It continued, "The responses to our letter from CMS [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services] Administrator Marilyn Tavenner — which were delivered on your behalf more than nine months after we sent our letter — did little to assure us that HHS or CMS was prepared to address these issues."
The lawmakers also noted that HHS has already terminated the loan to the Vermont CO-OP, which was denied a license by the state to operate.
"Please provide all documents related to (1) the Vermont CO-OPs failure to obtain an insurance license and (2) HHS's decision to terminate the Vermont CO-OP loan," they wrote.
They also asked for information on how much of the $2 billion HHS expects to be repaid and in what time frame.
Related stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Report: Obama Sets Record for Presidential Memoranda

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 23:10 PM

From policy on gun control to immigration and labor regulations, President Barack Obama has issued more presidential mem . . .

American Jailed for 15 Years for Helping Al-Qaeda

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:13 PM

A naturalized American was jailed for 15 years in Miami on Wednesday for conspiring to provide thousands of dollars to A . . .

Gizzi: Obama Ignores Rep. Sanford on Ending Cuban Travel Ban

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:12 PM

The White House never briefed nor gave advance notice to the congressman who first introduced legislation that contained . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved