Failure of the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance CO-OPs

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Serial Number
Levin Center Identifier
Document Date
2016-03-10
Report Length
63 pages
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Yes
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Brief Executive Summary
The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, on behalf of Chairman Rob Portman, issued a Majority Staff report about the failure of 12 out of 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Programs (CO-OPs) created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report looks at whether the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) exercised good stewardship of public funds when pouring billions into failed insurance startups; it concludes that HHS did not. The report finds that HHS approved the failed CO-OPs despite warnings from a third-party analyst about weaknesses in their business plans, failed to take corrective action or enhance oversight after severe financial distress, and failed to withhold loan disbursements, despite financial warning signs, instead approving additional solvency loans for three of the failed CO-OPs which showed clear warning signs that they would not be able to repay the taxpayer. The report notes that the high costs of the failed CO-OPs will fall on taxpayers, doctors, patients, and other insurers as none of the failed CO-OPs has repaid a single dollar.
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