According to a legal opinion letter by former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray, the answer is YES.

In this recording of a May 26, 2016 media conference call, experts describe the Obama administration’s decision to pay health insurers generous reinsurance subsidies while stiffing taxpayers, despite a statutory requirement that fixed sums must go to the U.S. Treasury.

Mr. Gray’s letter reinforces the conclusion of experts at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, who also found that the administration’s actions “would appear to be in conflict with the plain text” of the ACA regarding the Transitional Reinsurance Program.

Speakers on the call:

For more on this issue, read our column at Forbes.  The media call was sponsored by the Galen Institute, which also commissioned the legal opinion letter from Mr. Gray.  (The recording starts about two minutes into the call with Doug Badger speaking.)

In state capitols across the country, health care lobbyists and consultants are pushing a relatively unknown provision of the Affordable Care Act: Section 1332. According to some proponents, these waivers will “turbocharge state innovation” and will provide states with an “exit strategy” from the ACA. But is the hype true? Will Section 1332 waivers be as truly transformative to our health care system as suggested?

As policy practitioners who work daily with state policymakers around the country, we have seen proponents be overly dismissive—or perhaps even unaware—of the large practical and political challenges surrounding the implementation of these waivers. A serious, objective examination of the new Section 1332 federal guidance sparks far more questions than answers for policymakers.

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The numbers are staggering — and taxpayers, you’re footing the bill.

A new investigation has turned up more evidence that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service unlawfully diverted $3.5 billion from taxpayers to the Affordable Care Act exchange insurers.

The notion of diverted money came up earlier this year, when the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service issued a memo claiming that distributing the money to insurers instead of the U.S. Treasury violated the ACA. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell contended that her agency and the CMS had the statutory authority to defer payments to insurers.

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