Wicked Commentary

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This is a follow up of my article about Obamacare co-ops crumbling:

Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.

Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers. Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.

Nearly half a million failing co-op customers will have to find new coverage in 2016. More than $900 million of the original $2 billion in loans has been lost.

The 11 unidentified co-ops appear to be still operating but are now on “enhanced oversight” by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which manages the Obamacare program. The 11 received letters from CMS demanding that they take urgent actions to avoid closing.

Aaron Albright, chief CMS spokesman, said 11 co-ops “are either on a corrective action plan or enhanced oversight. We have not released the letters or names.” He gave no grounds for withholding the information from either the public or Congress.

CMS officials have stonewalled multiple congressional inquiries into the co-op financial problems. The latest congressional inquiry came in a September 30 letter to CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt demanding transparency over the troubled program.

“We have long been concerned about the financial solvency of CO-OPs,” three House Ways and Means committee members wrote to Slavitt. “Which plans have received these warnings or have been placed on corrective plans,” the congressmen asked. To date, they have received no reply.

Insurance commissioners in Vermont were the first to refuse to license the federally approved co-op there in 2013 because they feared those financial plans were unrealistic. But then the dominoes began to fall this year, resulting in at least eight co-op failures. And if CMS officials are to be believed, more failures may be on the way.

Sen. Charles Grassley  a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee who has been an outspoken critic of the troubled co-op program, said transparency should be a top priority for the faltering program.

“Since the public’s business generally ought to be public, CMS should have a good reason for not disclosing which co-ops are troubled,” he said.

Rep. Adrian Smith is a member of the House Ways & Means health subcommittee who has been pressing to know which co-ops are in trouble.

“It’s time for CMS to stop shielding these failures from the public and start identifying faltering co-ops.  Taxpayers deserve more accountability and consumers deserve to know whether the insurance they are forced to buy will still exist at the end of next year,” he said.

In creating the co-ops under Obamacare, Congressional Democrats exempted the co-ops from public disclosure rules that apply to publicly traded insurance companies and other publicly traded corporations on such exchanges as the New York Stock Exchange. Those rules require immediate disclosure of materially important financial details.

Any materially “significant event” by publicly traded corporations have to be disclosed in “real time,” according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Commission identifies 18 “mandatory disclosure items,” for private corporations including “any material impairment of a company’s asset.”

The double standard rankles critics of the co-op experiment undertaken by the Obama administration. “The nonprofit co-ops advertise themselves as having a ‘market approach,’” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. “But if it’s a market approach, they are responsible to their shareholders and to the taxpayers to reveal the status of their business.”

Grassley agreed, saying “disclosure requirements on publicly traded companies would be a good guidepost for CMS on co-ops.”

Pipes said taxpayers are stockholders in the non-profit health insurance co-ops. “We are paying for it. We have a right to know. They don’t like to release things unless they’re forced to, particularly if it shows them in a bad light or their program to be in a bad light.”

Taxpayer groups also expressed anger over the government secrecy.

“There is no excuse why taxpayers should not know the names of the people and groups who misspent and wasted tax dollars on publicly financed health insurance co-ops,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

“When anybody receives tax dollars, they have a responsibility to spend those dollars wisely and be held accountable for the expenditures. Transparency is the first step. CMS has a responsibility to all Americans to publish this information,” Williams said.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said “as Obamacare continues to fail, those failures point right back to CMS. They don’t want people to see that failure and think if they hide it somehow we won’t hear about it.”

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As usual the “most transparent administration ever” is keeping information that we as tax payers need to know.

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Comments on: "Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers" (13)

  1. Wow great to know. So almost half the money is lost, so far. Maybe they’re waiting for the other half to go out the window? “Shhhhh”… just like the lies that created this monster.

    They can’t tell us, yet everything else can be leaked. The only thing more secret are Obama’s records. We aren’t allowed to know. Well, if they don’t tell us and put it in the media, how will Obama ever know? I know, let’s pretend it isn’t happening. I never heard a bigger bunch of BS for not disclosing something. H’ll have to find a way to blame those states for this. I bet Jarrett is creating an excuse as we speak…. in case we do find out.

    Let’s see, he can’t call it old news.

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Great comment Bull. I can’t think of any BS lie either why we can’t know who these insurance companeis are. What ever happened to Consumer protection? As tax payers everyone should be outraged over this kind of thing.

      Oh sure Jarret is busy covering things up as we speak and coming up with the big lie Obama will tell once this story get circulated about. I’m afraid there still aren’t that many people who really know what’s going on.

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  2. It’s unfortunate, but many of our brain-dead citizenry haven’t yet learned one of the most important precepts related to a government entity refusing to release information that, by all rights, should be available to the taxpayers.

    That is: Refusing to release information is a sure sign that the entity doesn’t want the public to know that the entity is incompetent, has wasted taxpayer money, and doesn’t want to be held accountable.

    If the news was “good news,” it would already have been leaked to their accomplices in the media, thus we can be assured that the news will be “bad news.”

    It’s really that simple.

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Garnet, not much to add to your comment. You summed it up pretty good. The big problem is all the brain dead people in this country who will never know this and doesn’t care either unless it hits them in the wallet. Or the people losing their insurance only to be offered plans they cannot afford. Perhaps we’ll hear a howling once that happens.

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  3. With all the crooked goings on in the present administration, what difference would it make to know the names. Absolutely nothing would be done about it and no one would be prosecuted. The bozos in congress would only fight about it without achieving any action. O’s so called “change” has been well planned and orchestrated to get this country where it is today. Why the voting Dems don’t see the wrongs being accomplished can have a dozen answers, but in the end everyone will suffer

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Your last sentence is what strikes me Walt. In the end everyone will suffer. I wish we had a Congress with some guts who would take this upon themselves and see to it that these companies are prosecuted but that won’t happen of course.

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  4. Just Gene said:

    Did anyone consider the whole program was designed to transfer taxpayers money to the DICKtater’s friends?
    luvya

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Gene, exactly right. That seems to be the reason for the whole program. Obama will retire in lavish luxury and without a care in the world.
      luvya

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  5. Pepp, officials are beginning to make excuses. They expected more enrollees due to losing their private insurance from their employer. This is just ticking me off to no end.

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Well let them make their excuses because the truth is coming out and they can’t hide this disaster much longer. It ticks me off to no end too. The lies are just over the top. The program is failing. And oh,no, they can’t let people know that one of Barry’s signature programs is falling.

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  6. Excellent post Pepp. These co-ops thought they could go head to head with the big insurers that have been doing this a very long time. Oops.

    Barry throws $2B into this pipe dream and the $900M already wasted is just the beginning of this Titanic sinking. Oops.

    Since when has anything backed or ran by the gov worked as well as public companies? And they’re as transparent as lead. And they’re corrupt and wasteful as can be imagined.

    So Barry waste a shit load more tax payer money and makes life miserable on many Americans again. We’re way beyond ‘oops’ with Barry. Rat bastard…

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Thanks Dave,

      Oh the money and where did it all go? So much lost or stolen! Yep the Titanic is sinking and Obama cannot admit it of course. It’s his baby and his dumb idea.

      No government program ever works well. They don’t have a clue how to run anything and no idea how to do it efficiently or cost saving. They don’t care because they are using people’s tax money which they are so willing to waste on these stupid programs.

      Oops is a good word to use for Barry once again on his failed agenda. Soon tax payer money will dry up. Then what happens. And will Barry use tax payer money to bail out these shady insurers? That would make my eyes shoot blood.

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      • Pepp, I hate to be a proponent of big insurance companies but this really was an easy call. Throw $2B into start-up co-ops or $2B into well-established insurers? Well that’s actually a rhetorical question.

        I’m no fan of big insurance companies, but if Barry is going to roll the dice on that much tax payer money then by all means ‘bet on the house.’ The unpolished turd should have just provided $2B worth of incentives to the biggies (IE. BCBS, Humana,etc) to offer inexpensive health coverage. Those biggies no what the f*ck they’re doing and IMO could have managed tax payer money so much better. So much better they would have been able to pay the money back.

        But silly me. How does such a simple business plan like that give Barry’s friend’s free moola?

        Like

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