March 17,2016

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Obamacare at Six Years, CO-OP Failures Leave Half a Million Scrambling

New Nonpartisan Report Details Administration’s CO-OP Shortfalls
For years, Republicans in Congress have questioned the administration on how they planned to responsibly implement Obamacare’s controversial Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs).
From the more than two billion dollars in loans doled out to states to skepticism about the administration’s issuance of rules that allowed for creative accounting methods, Republicans have conducted rigorous oversight of the program since day one.
Now, nearly six years after Obamacare was signed into law, 12 of 23 CO-OPs nationwide have failed, costing taxpayers and jeopardizing the health of patients.
And at today’s hearing on Obamacare at six years, there was more bad news for Obamacare’s fledgling CO-OPs.   A new report from Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), outlined the activities of Obamacare CO-OPs and the administration’s dealings with states and their CO-OP systems.  
Take a look at GAO’s non-partisan findings:
CMS Failing Half of States That Used Its “Escalation Plan”
•    Designed to respond to a variety of financial and operational concerns, GAO found, that as of November 2015, CMS used its escalation plans on 18 CO-OPs, including 9 that have since discontinued operations.  
More than 500,000 Patients Forced to Find New Insurance after Taxpayer-Funded Experiment Fails
•    GAO found, that as of June 30, 2015, the combined enrollment for all 22 CO-OPs that offered health plans in 2015 was over 1 million, but more than half of members were enrolled in discontinued CO-OPs.
Some CO-OPs Still Have Not Reached Its Enrollment Benchmark
•    GAO found that, among the 11 currently operating CO-OPs, 4 CO-OPs had not reached a program benchmark for at least 25,000 members, risking the CO-OPs’ ability to control fixed costs.