KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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GOP Senators: Obama Administration Missed Warning Signs On Co-Ops

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday, lawmakers grilled acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt over the failed nonprofit health insurers. Slavitt promised the committee that the government is taking steps to help the co-ops, which were created to compete with larger private insurers. Twelve of the 23 set up under the law have gone out of business.

The New York Times: Republicans Say Government Mismanaged Health Care Co-Ops
Republican senators charged Thursday that the Obama administration had missed warning signs of financial distress at nonprofit health insurance cooperatives that failed last year, but a top federal official denied that the government had been negligent in its supervision. The co-ops were created with federal money under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats hoped the co-ops would increase competition in state insurance markets, creating additional choices for consumers and holding down premiums. But 12 of the 23 co-ops have shut down. (Pear, 1/21)

The Hill: Lawmakers Grill ObamaCare Official Over Co-Op Failures
Senators on Thursday pressed a top ObamaCare official over a string of failures in non-profit health insurers known as co-ops. Twelve of the 23 co-ops, set up under ObamaCare to compete with larger private insurers, have gone out of business due to financial problems. (Sullivan, 1/21)

USA Today: Federal Officials Unsure How Much Will Be Recouped From Failed Health Co-Ops
Federal officials still don't how much they will recoup of the $1.2 billion they spent on loans and startup costs for a dozen health care cooperatives that later failed, a top regulator said Thursday. “We are working closely with the Department of Justice,’’ Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Senate Finance Committee. “We have taken the first step calling the loans." (Tumulty, 1/21)

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Works To Fix Health Insurance Co-Ops
An Obama administration official said Thursday the government is taking steps to help health cooperatives set up under the Affordable Care Act remain solvent, while seeking to recoup federal funds from those that failed. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a Senate committee that the agency is working with the Justice Department and taking legal actions to collect the federal moneys in some cases. (Armour, 1/21)

The Washington Post: How Would Paul Ryan Replace Obamacare? Only Time Will Tell
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) vowed to release a plan to replace Obamacare this year. There is plenty of skepticism about whether that will actually happen. ... Yet, the new House speaker intends to back a “bold alternative agenda,” and he committed to unveiling a replacement plan in his first major policy address. ... “As the speaker has said many times, committees, not leadership, will be taking the lead on policy development,” said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong in response to an inquiry. (Viebeck, 1/21)

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