This Obamacare Program is Stealing $3.5 Billion from Taxpayers and Giving it to Insurance Companies

July 14, 2016
Press Release
Rep. Walker Introduces the Taxpayers Before Insurers Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mark Walker (NC-06) today introduced a bill that forces HHS to stop illegally giving money intended for American taxpayers to well-connected insurance companies.

The Taxpayers Before Insurers Act would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pay the $3.5 billion it has taken from taxpayers back to the U.S. Treasury or face a 50 percent cut in its operating budget.
 
To mitigate the high costs of Obamacare's mandates, the bill created three programs, one of which was the Transitional Reinsurance Program. The three-year reinsurance program required the HHS to collect $25 billion from insurers. Of this, the law mandated that HHS send $5 billion directly to the U.S. Treasury to pay down Obamacare's costs on the American people: $2 billion in 2014, $2 billion in 2015, and $1 billion in 2016. The other $20 billion was to be paid back to insurers for covering patients in the exchanges. Despite $4 billion already being due, the Treasury has only received $500 million. Instead, the money required by law to be paid to the Treasury alone is now being sent to well­-connected insurance companies.
 
“In Washington, this kind of lawlessness gets overlooked too much. Federal bureaucrats are not above the laws they force upon the American people,” Walker said. “My bill is simple: I want HHS to follow the law it helped write.”
 
“This should not be a partisan idea: the government should follow the law and prioritize the people it serves over big insurance companies,” Walker added.
 
Representative Walker also wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner to explain why he introduced the bill.
 
The Taxpayers Before Insurers Act is supported by American for Tax Reform and Citizens Against Government Waste. In a letter to Walker, Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform said “The $3.5 billion in Obamacare reinsurance corporate welfare payments are merely the latest effort by the administration to ignore the law to the benefit of monied special interests.”

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