Government Bytes


What Did Failed ACA Exchanges Cost Taxpayers?

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Technical difficulties during the rollout of, the online insurance plan exchange authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and administered by the federal government, received plenty of scrutiny both in the media and on Capitol Hill. However, four states' independently-run exchanges -- in Maryland, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Nevada -- were also plagued by glitches and security concerns; so many, in fact, that all four have decided to either scrap their sites and start over, or opt into the federally-administered system. According to new information from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, taxpayers fronted $746 million worth of grants to get those failed exchanges up and running.

In this week's edition of The Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF featured legislation introduced by Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) that would require those states to return the money to the federal government. The State Exchange Accountability Act would result in about $75 million per year being returned to the Treasury.

Also featured in this week's Tab:

  • Most Expensive: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act. S. 2342 builds on legislation originally sponsored by former Representative Dennis Kucinich and would repeal current tax breaks offered to promotional activity within the food industry. Any revenue gained from doing so would be redirected to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program to provide students with more nutritional school lunches. The bill would cost $500 million in the first year.
  • Wildcard: Congressmen Dave Cicilline (D-RI) and Scott Rigell (R-VA) introduced H.R. 5095, which would require Members of the House of Representatives to undergo ethics training similar to that which is required of current House staffers and all Senate Members and staff. It likely wouldn't require any additional funding.
  • Friedman Legacy Day Poll: NTUF asked our members which method of tax reform they'd like to see in Washington, and we have the results of the poll in this week's Tab.

Check out the latest edition online.