As nearly half the state-based health care exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act have failed, $5.5 billion of federal taxpayer money was invested in their creation. The disastrous failure of the Cover Oregon exchange made headlines when that state’s governor shut down the failed exchange in the heat of his reelection bid. The Obamacare exchanges have failed in several other states, in some cases leading to law suits. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) has introduced legislation in Congress to protect Americans from these failed exchanges and recover taxpayer money spent on them.
Rep. Allen’s bill is titled the Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act. This is a strong bill that will seek to recover federal funds wasted on the failed exchanges. This strong taxpayer protection bill also has the endorsements of Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste.
“After five years of failed policies and higher cost of care, it has become crystal clear that Obamacare was not well thought out. When this legislation was signed into law, the President freely gave money away to states to establish the state exchanges— however they forgot one piece of the puzzle. They provided no solution for recovering these funds when the state exchanges failed,” Rep. Allen stated, “Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent since—and the taxpayers should not be on the hook for subsidizing these failed exchanges. My legislation fixes the problems by providing a plan to recover federal funds when the state exchanges fail and requires unused funds to be returned back to the federal government to pay down the national debt. The shortcomings of Obamacare should not be placed on the backs of American taxpayers.”
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The Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act will see transparency and protect taxpayers in two areas. First, it will Ensures states have kept records and properly reported how federal funds were spent by requiring states to submit records of expenses to Congress as well as the Department of Health and Human Services. Secondly, the bill requires all unused funds to be returned to the Treasury Department for deficit reduction and any real property purchased be returned to the General Services Administration.
The failures of the state-based exchanges and the billions of federal taxpayer money spent on them have been the subjects of questions from several U.S. Senators and members of Congress, several oversight investigations and a report from the General Accounting Office as well. Congress can stand up for the interests of Americans by holding the states accountable for the failure of these exchanges, and the spending of more than $5 billion. Rep. Allen has sponsored a strong taxpayer protection bill that will finally address the issues with the failed state-based Obamacare exchanges.
These failures are one of the key areas in which Obamacare overall has proven to be an epic failure, and to have cost the taxpayers billions in waste, fraud, and abuse. By enacting this legislation, Congress can finally do the job for which voters elected them.
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