Monday, May 14, 2012

Genius: HHS spending billions to create non-profit insurers, which I like to call the Obamacare version of Fannie Mae

Even though they've bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac -- and failed miserably with "Great Society" and trillions in welfare -- Democrats now want you to fund new non-profit health insurers.

What could go wrong?

Republicans in the Senate and House questioned whether a Health and Human Services’ (HHS) $3.4 billion loan program to create non-profit health insurers would result in the greater competition and lower costs. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the members noted that the Department’s own actuarial estimates suggest at least $1 billion in taxpayer dollars may inevitably be wasted.

...“HHS may be seriously underestimating the financial risk that these new entities pose to the Federal Treasury,” the members wrote. “Recent reports have highlighted the challenges facing CO-OPs, which strongly suggests that the program will fail to provide consumers with promised viable alternatives or reduced costs. The new health care law is unfortunately already exacerbating this problem. As a result, many individuals and small businesses are confronting the reality of fewer choices and higher costs when purchasing health insurance.”

Given prior failures in government lending, including huge loans to now bankrupt Solyndra, the members requested responses to a number of questions, including that the Department correctly assess both the measures it has established to protect taxpayer funds and the process by which HHS has awarded the CO-OP loans. Earlier this year, Senator Coburn highlighted the problems with CO-Ops in a report, Warning: Side Effects, warning that they could be the Solyndra of the President’s health care law and waste millions of taxpayer dollars.

One day, when rational human beings gain control of the branches of government, I'd like to cap-and-trade Congress. By that I mean limit Congress and the bureaucracies to a total of no more than 100 double-spaced pages of laws and regulations. If they want to enact new ones, they've got to get rid of old ones.

I call it cap-and-trade of government emissions. Who's with me?

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