Rep. Davids, Congressman Emmer urge action to ensure accountability for taxpayer dollars
ST. PAUL, MN—The United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce released a report Tuesday addressing concerns about management by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of state-based Obamacare exchanges, including MNsure, Minnesota's health insurance exchange.
The report blasted MNsure for relying on funds for operating expenses that they "never received authority to spend," and noted that 11 percent of MNsure's 2017 budget relies on funds for which "MNsure has yet to receive spending authority."
It also noted that Minnesota was among several state-based exchanges facing "uncertain" financial sustainability due to budgets that underestimated operating costs "by millions of dollars," and found "instances of questionable spending that CMS permitted." Rather than enforcing regulations to ensure proper use of federal funds, CMS "help[ed] states rationalize the spending of awarded federal taxpayer dollars."
Representative Greg Davids, R-Preston, Co-Chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Congressional Report:
"While health costs continue to skyrocket for families, MNsure continues to mismanage and waste millions of taxpayer dollars and rely on federal funding to keep the lights on," Davids said. "It's clear that MNsure and federal officials are more concerned with propping up failing Obamacare websites than addressing drastic premium hikes and dwindling choices."
Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) urged action by CMS to recoup misspent dollars from all states found to have spent misspent taxpayer dollars.
"To date, CMS has failed to recover more than a small fraction of misspent funds, and seems to signal to Obamacare exchanges like MNsure that there are no consequences for mismanagement of federal dollars," Emmer said. "It's time for CMS to follow the law, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent properly. For nearly two years, taxpayers have been bailing out failing Obamacare exchanges around the country—way past the point at which we were promised these exchanges would be self-funding."