Two Republican committee chairmen are pressing the Obama administration to improve its oversight of how state-run ObamaCare marketplaces use federal dollars, citing an inspector general report on potential violations of law.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday asking for the agency to issue clarifying guidance on how the federal dollars can be spent.
State-run ObamaCare marketplaces received federal funds to help set themselves up, but after Jan. 1 of this year, they marketplaces are supposed to be self-sustaining. They are now prohibited by law from using federal funds for “operating expenses.” They can only use the money for “design, development, and implementation.”
The problem is that the definition of these two categories can be unclear, as noted by an HHS Inspector General report late last month. The senators want clearer definitions from CMS.
State-based marketplaces (SBMs) “cannot be allowed to use hard-earned taxpayer dollars for expenses that are statutorily prohibited,” the senators write.