The Honorable Rick Allen
United States House of Representatives
513 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Allen:
On behalf of the members of National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of your legislation, H.R. 4262, the “Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act.” This bill would establish new accountability provisions related to the implementation of state-based health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”
Obamacare provided grants to state governments in excess of $5.5 billion to build health insurance exchanges. Unfortunately, it appears a significant portion of these funds has not been well-spent. For instance, Oregon, which received approximately $305 million to establish its exchange, has terminated its program entirely and opted to use the federal system. Hawaii, which received $205 million, could reportedly follow suit. Massachusetts, which had its own functioning state insurance exchange long before the passage of Obamacare, was given roughly $234 million by the federal government to make their system compliant with the federal law. Yet it encountered serious problems determining the eligibility of applicants and erroneously placed hundreds of thousands of residents into Medicaid. Many other states are facing similar difficulties.
Given these numerous problems and the potential loss of billions of taxpayer dollars, it is clear that additional accountability measures are needed. H.R. 4262 would wisely require state governments to better track and account for the expenditure of grant dollars to create state-based exchanges and to share this information with Congress. Further, it would require unspent funds to be returned to the federal government. These are commonsense reforms that would benefit taxpayers, improve fiscal responsibility, and reduce waste.
NTU is pleased to endorse H.R. 4262 and encourages all Representatives to cosponsor your bill and work towards its swift passage.
Executive Vice President