MARCH 14, 2016
More than half of the government-funded nonprofit health insurers created by Obamacare have failed, sticking taxpayers with a $1.2 billion tab and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in more than a dozen states scrambling for medical coverage, a new federal audit reveals. The nonprofit insurers are known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (CO-OP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has pumped $2.4 billion into them under the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.
Congress initially allocated $6 billion for the Obamacare CO-OP program, with the goal of establishing CO-OPs in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Thankfully, subsequent legislation slashed funding for the ill-fated experiment. In all, HHS has funded 23 of these dubious enterprises and 12 have already gone under after losing an astounding $1.2 billion that’s unlikely to ever be recovered. As a result 740,000 people in 14 states must search for new medical coverage they thought they had under the disastrous Obamacare plan. Every resident of the United States who pays taxes should be outraged by this monstrous failure, exposed in great detail in a scathing report published by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The committee’s probe reveals that, even when the CO-OPs showed clear signs of financial failure, HHS kept giving them huge amounts of money in the form of “loans” the agency knew would never be repaid. In fact, HHS officials knew of serious problems with enrollment strategies, financial forecasts, management and pricing before approving the first loan, according to the panel’s findings. “HHS approved the failed CO-OPs despite receiving specific warnings from a third-party analyst about weaknesses in their business plans,” the report states.
The CO-OPs ultimately racked up a breath-taking $376 million in losses in 2014 and more than $1 billion in losses in 2015 yet the cash kept flowing. HHS knew how serious the problem was, according to the report, yet kept filling the CO-OP’s coffers. By the end of 2014, the 12 collapsed insurance nonprofits had already exceeded their projected worst-case-scenarios by more than $263 million, four times more than what they initially projected. Incredibly, that didn’t stop Obama’s minions at HHS from doling out another $848 million even as the CO-OPS were on a downhill spiral. “Even though HHS was aware of serious financial distress suffered by the CO-OPs in 2014, it failed to take any corrective action or enhance oversight for more than a year,” the senate investigation found, confirming that the health agency “regularly received key financial information from the CO-OPs” that clearly showed the failed insurers “experienced severe financial losses that quickly exceeded even the worst-case loss projections.”
For example the Kentucky CO-OP lost $50.4 million in 2014 yet went on to get enough taxpayer money to lose another $114 million the following year before ultimately collapsing, according to the report. When the Kentucky CO-OP went under its operating losses exceeded $163 million. Another example listed by the panel is the New York CO-OP, which lost an egregious $634 million in two years. The Illinois CO-OP lost $90 million. Even Maine’s CO-OP, which made $7.3 million in 2014, went on to lose $74 million the following year. Maryland’s CO-OP was the most successful of the remaining government-funded insurers and it lost a startling $10.8 million. A number of other examples of this massive boondoggle are listed throughout the report, which cites previous audits by different government entities documenting the many failures the Obamacare CO-OP program.
“The financial toll of this failed experiment is much steeper than has been previously reported,” according to this latest audit, which took nearly a year to be completed. “The twelve closed CO-OPs ran up more than $1.4 billion in losses over just the two years they sold plans. Based on the latest balance sheets obtained by the Subcommittee, the failed CO-OPs currently estimated non-loan liabilities (including unpaid medical bills) exceed $1.13 billion—which is 93% greater than their $585 million in reported assets. In addition, the CO-OP’s debt to the U.S. government stands at over $1.2 billion. Prospects for repayment are dim.” Indeed, American taxpayers have once again been cheated.
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