Re­port: Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion failed to fol­low health law

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion failed to fol­low the pres­i­dent’s health care law in a $5 bil­lion dis­pute over com­pen­sat­ing in­sur­ers for high costs from se­ri­ously ill pa­tients, ac­cord­ing to a re­port Thurs­day by the Govern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice, the in­ves­tiga­tive arm of Congress.

At is­sue is how the ad­min­is­tra­tion has han­dled a lit­tle-known, but im­por­tant “tran­si­tional rein­sur­ance” pro­gram. Work­ing in the back­ground of the law’s cov­er­age ex­pan­sion, the three-year pro­gram col­lects fees from em­ployer and other pri­vate health in­sur­ance plans, chan­nel­ing the money to health plans that face large claims for treat­ing pa­tients with cat­a­strophic med­i­cal prob­lems.

The law di­rected that the fee col­lect $25 bil­lion from 2014-2016 and $5 bil­lion would go di­rectly to the Trea­sury. When fee col­lec­tions fell short, the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Depart­ment failed to send a share of money to the Trea­sury, say­ing it would do so later as more money came in.

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