And they’re not done yet in trying to find more money for their increasingly reluctant partners in Obamacare crime. Now they want to raid the Treasury yet again to pay insurers through the risk-corridor program – this time through a fund set aside for payments on legal judgments reached on behalf of taxpayers. The Judgment Fund has a theoretically unlimited checkbook, but its scale falls far below what HHS needs to convince insurers to stick around. The Washington Post notes that it has paid out a total of $18 million in the last decade for judgments involving HHS, but now insurers are suing for $2.5 billion in payouts for 2014 alone.
That approach might not last for long. Health-care market analyst Bob Laszewski points out that both the reinsurance and risk-corridor programs only last through 2017. “There can’t be such relief in 2017 and years beyond without the Congress and President agreeing to extend the reinsurance program,” Laszewski writes. “In that sense, what the administration apparently wants to do would have a retrospective impact only. It would have no impact on the market that these health plans see for 2017 that has caused them to give big rate increases or to exit the exchanges altogether.”
That assumes, however, that HHS plans to follow the law when it comes to Obamacare. When it comes to taxpayer money and the statutes created by President Obama and his allies, HHS looks less like a responsible government agency and more like a criminal conspiracy operating on behalf of the same insurers that Obama insisted couldn’t be trusted to run their markets themselves. Don’t expect little items like laws to stop them for long.