ObamaCare: Republican Critics Say It’s Breaking The Law

ObamaCare is under Republican fire — again. Republican critics accuse the bill initiated by President Barack Obama of breaking the law by restructuring payments from the Affordable Care Act back to insurance providers before Treasury payments. According to the law, in regard to ObamaCare, money is collected annually from insurers for the Affordable Care Act reinsurance program which aides in taking on higher cost associated with insuring high-health-risk insurees. $10 billion were to go back into the market to pay those cost in 2014, the first year, and $2 billion were to go to the U.S. Treasury.

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., a chairman of the health subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, joined with Republican colleagues in seeking clarification from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell about the shortfall of money that was supposed to flow into the Treasury — as mandated in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The money has yet to arrive, nearly two years later. According to the Human Health Services, not enough money was made to cover both costs; therefore, they reprioritized the money received and paid insurers first. The restructure of the payments was implemented in 2014 and was met with no criticism, Secretary Sylvia Burwell told the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing earlier this week.

Republican critics claim the ObamaCare reinsurance program is supposed to send money to the Treasury and it cannot be reallocated. According to The Hill, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., teamed up with Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to write a letter condemning the administration’s moves.

“The statute in question is unambiguous, and the HHS regulation and recent practice violates its clear directive,” the letter read.

The administration projected $10 billion from insurance companies in 2014, $6 billion in 2015, and $4 billion in 2016. The Treasury was set to receive $2 billion in 2014 and 2015 and $1 billion in 2016. This was projected on the aforementioned monies received from ObamaCare insurers. However, the actual monies received were less than what was projected.

In 2014, reports show that only $9.7 billion was received and 2015 was expected to fall short, too. Therefore, money went back into the reinsurance program rather the Treasury. Republicans believe the move allocated money to the insurers instead of taxpayers.

According to the Fiscal Times, a recent Senate investigations shows that two dozen non-profit insurance companies were created under the Affordable Care Act and half of them are shuttering, which lead to over $1 billion in loss funds and startup cost.

Deloitte Consulting LLP, an independent accounting firm hired by Health and Human Services, warned that the non-profit insurers were not structured properly for the task they were created to handle. It was noted that those firms would cause financial disaster without improvements. And since their creation, many have failed in their attempt to offer affordable care to high-risk insurees.

In their failure, they have not repaid the $1.2 billion in federal loans for startup cost. ObamaCare provided $2.4 billion in federal loans to establish 23 non-profit reinsurance cooperatives. The administration has required eight of the 11 remaining to govern to “corrective action plans.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged to address the co-op failures and the void they created in the marketplace.

“We need to get more companies, more nonprofits, to fill this space. The ones that knew what they were doing have provided good services, but a lot of them have failed because they didn’t have the right support,” she said Monday at a Democratic presidential forum hosted by Fox News.

She stands by ObamaCare and will seek to fix its failure of the current institution of Affordable Health Care.

[Image by Jon Elswick/AP Images]

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