House Slaps US Gov’t With Lawsuit Against Obamacare Bailout Of Insurance Companies

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief against the federal government Thursday, targeting insurance companies who want Obamacare bailouts.

It’s difficult, almost impossible, to imagine a situation in which Obamacare could get any worse: 16 healthcare co-ops went belly-up, the Tennessee Health Commissioner is saying the state’s Obamacare exchanges are “very near collapse,” and analysts cannot fathom a positive future for the system in either the short or long-term. (RELATED: Obamacare ‘Near Collapse’ In Tennessee, Says Insurance Regulator)

The House amicus brief, in addition to explaining why the insurance companies should be barred from receiving bailout funds, also discusses why the Obama administration’s move to settle other cases with billions of taxpayer dollars is both unlawful and unconstitutional.

“The law is clear that insurance companies operating on the health exchanges established pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have no right to government handouts in excess of incoming funds under the Act’s risk corridors program. This is because the program was intended to be budget-neutral and self-funding –i.e., outgoing payments would be covered by incoming payments – and Congress has confirmed this intent, not once but twice, through annual appropriations legislation,” the brief reads.

Chief among the complaints of House members, is the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is “apparently bent on paying insurers despite the absence of any legal obligation to do so. Allegedly in light of a non-existent ‘litigation risk,’ HHS recently took the extraordinary step of urging insurers to enter into settlement agreements with the United States in order to receive payment on their meritless claims.”

“In other words, HHS is trying to force the U.S. Treasury to disburse billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to insurance companies even though DOJ has convincingly demonstrated that HHS has no legal obligation (and no legal right) to pay these sums,” the brief reads.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is addressing the problems with the healthcare marketplace in a drastically different way. She says she will “defend and expand” Obamacare, according to Clinton’s campaign website. Her solution to the mass exodus of insurance companies from the failing exchanges across the nation is to institute a full-scale “public option.” (RELATED: Obama, Former Chief Health Official Already Floating Public Option To Replace Failing Obamacare)

A public option would essentially “be a government-sponsored and government-run insurance plan, probably modeled on the traditional Medicare program, which would be offered to customers on the exchanges as an alternative to the private-insurance plans,” according to AEI.

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