Obamacare Bailout Declared Illegal
Last week, an Obamacare bailout for health insurance companies was declared illegal by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). This is now the second time the Obamacare bailout has been dubbed illegal. Back in May, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled in U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell that the White House violated its Constitutional Authority by spending money not authorized by Congress.
Written into Obamacare as a “reinsurance” program, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was authorized to collect, from 2014-16, $25 billion in taxes on employer-provided health-insurance plans and first reimburse taxpayers $5 billion and second provide $20 billion to health insurance companies that are losing money on the Obamacare exchanges.
As it turns outs, HHS has been prioritizing health insurance companies over taxpayers. By the end of the year, health insurance companies will receive $15.7 billion in bailouts while taxpayers will only receive $500 million of the $4 billion they are owed.
In response to the GAO report, Heritage Foundation budget expert, Paul Winfree released the following statement:
“Yesterday’s report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms what many have warned – the administration has been illegally stiffing the American taxpayer in order to prop up the crumbling Obamacare system. The administration’s choosing to spend this money illegally should be met with the full force of Congressional inquiries and thorough examination. The American people deserve to know who, within the administration, was responsible for making this decision and those people should be held accountable. This is just another example of the Obama administration’s willingness to do almost anything, even break the law, to bolster the crown jewel of President Obama’s legacy – Obamacare.”
The Obama administration will stop at nothing to save the president’s health care law, even if it means illegally bailing out insurers who continue to drop out of the Obamacare exchanges at an alarming rate. Congress should shut down all possible avenues that bail out insurance companies. Passing the Taxpayers Before Insures Act (H.R. 5904 and S. 2803) introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) is a good place to start.