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US TAXPAYERS MAY OWE BILLIONS TO HEALTH INSURERS
Lawrenceville, NJ (Dr Simone) – To coax insurers into Obamacare, Congress had to create a “risk-corridor” program that covered any losses incurred. Notice how jargon, “risk-corridor” program, is used to disguise the issue? Not a bad deal for the insurers – think of that business you would have started if you would have gotten paid by the government for any losses. Well, the Affordable Care Act did not appropriate any money to make risk-corridor payments. In 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services said that the insurers were owed $2.87 billion. Minimal payments were made and by the middle of 2016, only 7 of the 23 co-op insurance companies were still in business. More imploded. The Congress made Obamacare ‘budget neutral’, and insurer’s entitlement to full risk-corridor payments ends when funding for the program is exhausted. And since there is no money appropriated for court judgments, the United States can’t make a payment even if a court orders it to do so. However, there is a discretionary fund, the Judgment Fund, that the President of the United States can use to settle lawsuits against the United States. Congress could amend the Judgement Fund to prohibit payment. Let’s see if the little guy has to pay for this bailout.
(c) 2017 Charles B. Simone, M.MS., M.D.