Allen: State Exchanges Need a Strategy Now

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Washington, May 10, 2016 | comments

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released a report which found that a top Center for Medicare and Medicare Services Administrator had provided misleading testimony to Congress regarding state-run Obamacare exchanges and the grant money used to establish them. Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) recently introduced legislation, H.R. 4262, the Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act, to address this problem by establishing a plan to recoup federal funds when state exchanges fail and protect taxpayers from footing the bill. Rep. Rick Allen issued the following statement in response to the committee’s findings: 

“Clearly, state exchanges have even more problems than we know about if a CMS Administrator cannot speak correctly or accurately on what they have already cost the American people. When Obamacare was signed into law, money was freely given to states to establish state exchanges with no further instructions.  Since then, we have seen states like Hawaii, Oregon and New Mexico fail and others are currently struggling. I think I speak for American taxpayers when I ask, what happened to the money if the exchange failed? Taxpayers should not be left paying back the balance due to poor planning on the Administration’s part.

We need a policy in place to solve this problem, because with more states failing, it is clear this is not going away. My legislation addresses this problem through a two-step process in which an audit is conducted to see how and where the money was spent and then requires any unused funds be returned back to the federal government to pay down the national debt. I urge my colleagues to support this measure so that we can provide accurate and honest answers to the American public about where their tax dollars are being spent—not lies like the Administration has told us.”

Rep. Rick Allen’s H.R. 4262, Legislation to Protect Americans from Failed State Exchanges:

1.      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

2.      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

Click HERE to read the full Energy and Commerce Committee report.

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