GOP Pushes for States to Repay Costs of Failing Obamacare Exchanges

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:42 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Republican lawmakers, extending the battle against Obamacare, are introducing legislation that would force states with failed healthcare exchanges to reimburse the federal government for losses to the taxpayer.

The move may be another way to renew attention to Obamacare's botched rollout and the scale of the money spent on struggling state-run enrollment systems in states such as Oregon and Maryland, The Hill reported.

"This bill rightly restores accountability by ensuring that the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted by these failed exchanges are returned," Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and co-sponsor of the bill, told the Hill.

The repayment requirement would apply to states that decide to abandon their marketplaces and join the federally-run exchange, HealthCare.gov, as Oregon will do before Obamacare's second enrollment period begins in November.

As a condition of joining HealthCare.gov, states would be required to agree to repay the Department of Health and Human Services for the federal grant money they used to establish their state exchanges. Repayments would be required within 10 years.

"It is unfortunate that Obamacare's flawed policies continue to force American families to fund administrative ineptitude like this time and time again, and I am committed to seeing that this is stopped with this bill," Hatch said.

The measure is unlikely to move forward in the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Hill reported.

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