“The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will take up cases over whether the federal government must pay billions of dollars to health insurers that sold coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Letter to The Editor – Modern Healthcare Alert
If you are going to report on this particular incident with the Cromnibus Act which passed December 11, 2014, why not give the complete history of how the Risk Corridor Program was stymied?
Initially, then Budget Committee Republican Ranking Member Senator Sessions wrote a letter to the GAO asking whether the Risk Corridor payments were being appropriated correctly. In a letter back to Sessions the GAO said Agencies can only appropriate funds at the discretion of Congress. Funding had not been properly secured for the Risk Corridor Program. This effectively stopped any new funding from being used for the Risk Corridor Program; however, funding could be transferred from other healthcare programs.
With the aid of House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton and House Appropriations Chair Jack Kingston, Section 227 was inserted into the Cromnibus Act.
“None of the funds made available by this act from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund or the Federal Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund, or transferred from other accounts funded by this act to the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Program Management “ account may be used for payments under section 1342(b)(1) of Public Law 111-148 (relating to risk corridors).”
This was far more nefarious than Congress as a whole making this budget neutral and its hides what Republican Senator Sessions, and House Representatives Upton, and Kingston did to sabotage the ACA, drive up premiums, bankrupt Coops, cause companies to leave the healthcare exchanges, and cause constituents to lose coverage.
Yes indeed, Congress did vote for the Cromnibus Act in the waning day(s) left before a government shut down. Section 227 was inserted during those last few days and more than likely overlooked in the process of passing a budget bill so the government would not shut down.
run75441 (Bill H)
Should these companies win at SCOTUS review, the costs and blame should be assigned to these three as their motives were “solely” party politics over country thereby penalizing citizens.