Congressional committee asks 17 state exchanges where the money went
by David Catron, American Spectator, November 11, 2015 (excerpt)
Last April, the HHS Office of Inspector General issued an alert concerning the misuse of Obamacare start-up grants by certain states. Congress yawned. Later, the Obama administration illegally rewrote the law’s limitations on how these funds could be spent. Our elected representatives remained inert. In August, a few Senators bestirred themselves enough to write to the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning how he planned to recoup grants from failed exchanges. The House still snored. Even after state skullduggery involving the grants was reported in this space on September 14, and subsequently by other publications, the House slumbered.
That body received its wake-up call from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO released a report showing that 16 states (all but one secure Democrat strongholds) and the District of Columbia were awarded $4.6 billion in grants to create Obamacare exchanges which cannot account for the vast gulf that exists between the amounts spent on their “marketplaces” and the grant money awarded. Of the $4.6 billion, only about $1.4 billion can be confidently reconciled with specific expenditures. This leaves a gap of $3.2 billion. It gets worse. These 17 exchanges are so far behind in their bookkeeping that every figure reported to the GAO is accompanied by a catalog of caveats.
This finally aroused the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee. Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) held a hearing on September 29, before which various exchange officials appeared but provided little useful data on the grants. The committee then sent document requests to the 17 exchanges (California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) because “The hearing… did not answer all the committee’s questions nor fully assuaged its concerns that tax dollars have been, and are being, spent inappropriately.” ….
read … Congress Awakes
PDF: Hawaii State Exchange Request Letter—Oct 14, 2015