Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.
Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters this week seeking more information about the financial status of the 11 remaining co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act.
Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) say they want to better understand the financial challenges the co-ops are facing and ensure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is taking the “necessary and appropriate steps” to keep the co-ops functioning. The agency has placed eight of the remaining co-ops on corrective action plans, and 12 had closed by the start of 2016.
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Top Obamacare officials told a Senate panel Thursday that they can’t guarantee that the government ever will recover billions of taxpayer dollars loaned to health insurance “co-ops.”
“Today’s hearing is about the families who lost their health care plans, it’s about the taxpayers who were swindled, it’s about the bureaucrats who mismanaged this program, and it’s about the local governments who had to cut budgets from firefighters and schools to make up for Washington’s failures,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said.
During the hearing, held by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations within the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, senators paid particular attention to the 12 of 23 ObamaCare co-ops that have failed.
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House Republicans are subpoenaing documents related to ObamaCare payments that they say break the law.
Two House committees issued the subpoenas on Wednesday, saying the administration has refused to comply with document requests for over a year. The administration counters that the matter is part of an ongoing lawsuit.
“Now, 15 months after our first request, we still don’t have the most basic information about the $5 billion in unlawful payments to insurance companies,” Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the chairmen of two committees, said in a statement.
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A Crain’s investigation shows how Health Republic, the insurance company that was supposed to be about people, not profits, misled its customers and ran itself into the ground.
It’s been decades since a New York health insurer has cratered so dramatically. Providers told Crain’s they signed contracts to treat Health Republic members because they assumed the insurer had been fully vetted by the state. The Cuomo administration had even issued press releases in 2014 and 2015 crediting DFS’ oversight as evidence of the state’s role in keeping premiums affordable.
“We feel betrayed,” said Robert Glazer, chief executive of ENT and Allergy Associates, a large medical practice with 173 physicians. The only warning signs of trouble were early last year, when Health Republic delayed claim payments by three to four months.
“We have no idea if our doctors will be reimbursed,” said Glazer, whose practice is owed more than $650,000. Even if money is recovered, Oechsner said payments to providers “would likely be modest at best.”
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The GOP committee chairmen issued subpoenas for Health and Human Services (HHS) documents related the “Basic Health Program,” which they say the administration is unconstitutionally funding despite a lack of appropriation from Congress.
Republicans say the Obama administration is paying out these funds for the program even though Congress has not appropriated the money. The administration argues that it already has a permanent appropriation under the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans say that permanent appropriation was only for the law’s tax credits, not for the Basic Health Program.
The justices heard oral arguments in the case just last week. Now they are asking the parties to address how employees would obtain contraceptive coverage through their employer’s insurance companies without any involvement from the employer, including notifying the government, their insurer, or third-party administrator of their objection.
The parties have the opportunity to spell out for the Supreme Court how such a system could work without controlling the Little Sisters’ and other employers’ insurance plans.
The Supreme Court asked for additional information from both sides on “whether and how” employees of religious nonprofits could get contraceptive coverage through other means that would be less objectionable to their employers.
The goal, is to address how employees could still get contraceptive coverage “but in a way that does not require any involvement” from the religious employers, meaning they would not have to sign the form that they currently object to.
Federal officials have been lucky until now, but the Affordable Care Act’s Internet web portal could become a hacker’s playground — with plenty of sensitive data compromised — without a significant tightening of security, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
The new warning comes on the sixth anniversary of the enactment of the ACA and addresses security problems related to the personal information — including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and sensitive income and tax details — of literally millions of Americans who have enrolled in the insurance program online through HealthCare.gov.
A government report revealed that CMS has failed to protect healthcare.gov. The site that millions use to purchase health insurance under the ACA logged 316 cybersecurity incidents during an 18-month period.
The CMS has also failed to adequately monitor security controls at state-based insurance marketplaces, according to the watchdog. In a previous report, the GAO found three states with “significant weaknesses,” including insufficient encryption and inadequately configured firewalls.
The challengers, Zubik v. Burwell, argue the Obama administration is unjustifiably forcing religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to cover birth control, despite an arrangement in which insurers provide contraception directly.
The administration counters that the challengers are threatening contraceptive access for women and say the court risks setting a dangerous precedent if it finds in their