Barrasso: Hold States Accountable for Failed Obamacare Exchanges

Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:12 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Taxpayers want "accountability, not excuses" when it comes to how their tax dollars are spent, which is why Sen. John Barrasso said he's aiming to recoup funds spent by states with failed healthcare exchanges.

Barrasso has co-sponsored the State Exchange Accountability Act, along with Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. The legislation targets states abandoning their Obamacare enrollment systems for the federally run exchange. It would require those states to repay over 10 years the federal grant money they received to establish their systems.

"People know what they want. They want accountability for their hard-earned, taxpayer dollars," the Wyoming Republican told Fox News' "Happening Now" on Thursday. "People want accountability, not excuses."

Story continues below video.




Barrasso said people were tired of sending "money to Washington, [and] Washington wastes it." When there's "incompetence and mismanagement," taxpayers "ought to get their money back . . . [from] those states that allowed those sorts of problems to occur."

Up to half the states that set up their own exchanges "failed miserably," at a pricetag of "hundreds of millions of dollars," Barrasso said. Among them: Massachusetts, Nevada, Maryland, and Oregon.

"Now those states are throwing up their hands and saying, 'Oh, we're just going to go into the federal exchange and say, hey, just forget about the fact that we wasted all of this money.' And, I say, that's not good enough," he said.

Barrasso said the American people deserve "to hold elected officials and those in those states that allowed this . . . accountable."

He said he hoped to have a vote on the bill "immediately."

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