Failed ObamaCare co-ops have not refunded $1.2 B in federal loans, docs say | Fox News

EXCLUSIVE : The dozen failed ObamaCare cooperatives have not refunded any of the $1.2 billion in federal loans they received and still owe more than a$ 1 billion in additional liabilities, according to recent financial statements to be quoth Thursday at a congressional hearing.

In prepared remarks for his opening statement at the hearing, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, says, In some countries, those losses will be absorbed by other insurance companieswhich means, by the policyholders of other insurance companies who have to pay increased premiums.

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In other countries, doctors, hospitals and individual patients stand to suffer big out-of-pocket losses due to the co-ops failuresas our report details We should not hold our breath on repayment.

Portmans statement, obtained by Fox News, refers to an investigation by the committees majority staff.

It asserts the most recent balance sheets provided to the subcommittee present the failed cooperatives owe more than $700 million to doctors and hospitals for scheme year 2015.

The failed cooperatives lost $376 million and surpassed the projected worst-case-scenario loss outlined in their loan applications by more than $260 million in 2014. They lost an additional billion dollars in 2015, according to the report.

Once the co-ops get going in 2014, things went south in a hurryboth to its implementation of financial losses and enrollment figures that wildly deviated from the co-ops projections, Portmans statement says. Despite getting regular reports that the co-ops were hemorrhaging money, HHS[ the Department of Health and Human Services] took no corrective action for over a year.

Deloitte Consulting initially awarded the cooperatives a passing grade based on an HHS-designed grading scale. However it added seven members of the 12 had serious deficiencies in their enrollment strategy, according to the report. Others submitted budgets that were incomplete, unreasonable , not cost-effective and several relied on unreasonable projections about their own growth.

The report cited in Portmans statement also claims that from 2014201 5, the administration gave an additional $848 million to the failed cooperatives, as they lost more than $1.4 billion.

In previous testimony, administration officials have told congressional panels that the administration scrutinized cooperative business schemes and then placed them on corrective oversight when necessary.

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In 2015 we conducted 27 financial and operational reviews, 16 in-person visits, and had 43 formal communications, Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centre for Medicare& Medicaid Services, told the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year. Not to mention hundreds of telephone call. And we’ve hold the states up to velocity on every important interaction to help inform their regulatory actions.

When questioned how much money the government could salvage from the failed cooperatives, officials said they were only beginning to determine amounts.

We are in the process of recouping that loan fund right now, told Dr. Mandy Cohen, the chief operating officer and chief of staff of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, last month to a House panel. Well look at their excess revenue and then utilize all the tools available to us through their loan agreements and state and federal statute to pull back federal tax dollars.

ObamaCare provided $2.4 billion in federal loans to establish 23 non-profit cooperatives. A dozen failed and the administration has required eight of the remaining eleven to adhere to a corrective action plan designed to fix business flaws and prevent additional failings. The closed cooperatives account for $1.2 billion in federal loans.

Defenders of the law and cooperatives say these non-profit insurers operated in difficult markets and that it often takes years of financial commitment to build a viable business.

The failed cooperatives left hundreds of thousands of clients searching for a new insurance company. In some nations, the loss was significant.

HHS gave the New York co-op $ 90 million to prolong its financial life, rather than allow it to scale down, that co-op went on to lose another $544 million in 2015, according to Portmans statement, citing his personnels report.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential delegate count, pledged she would address the market void left by the failed cooperatives.

We need to get more companies, more nonprofits, to fill this space. The ones that knew what they were doing have provided good services, but a lot of them have failed since they are didn’t have the right support, she said Monday at a Democratic presidential forum hosted by Fox News.

Even in those markets where those co-ops has hitherto operated, we have ensure a commitment on the part of those who are administering the markets to try to facilitate greater competition, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. And making the co-ops was just one route to do that, but we certainly are going to be open to other ways to encourage other entities, private or public, to get engaged in this process.

When previously questioned by Congress, administration officials declined to forecast how many of the remaining cooperatives would survive this year.

The co-ops themselves are genuinely the ones who are going to be the ones to determine whether or not they ultimately will be successful, told Cohen. They have a lot of work to do to rapidly mature their entities, their small businesses as you know and theyre still get their foothold on this business.

Rich Edson is a Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel. Prior to that, he served as Fox Business Network’s Washington correspondent.

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