SENATE REPUBLICANS SEEK GAMEPLAN FROM CMS FOR RECOUPING STATE-BASED EXCHANGE FUNDING

Congressional Republicans are again asking the CMS to come up with a game plan for recouping money given to states for establishing health insurance exchanges that later failed.

In an Aug. 3 letter to the agency, three Senate Republicans said the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has allocated more than $1 billion in federal grants to help states establish exchanges, “and it did so without exercising adequate oversight of SBE use of those funds.”

“The failure of these SBEs to use federal grant money efficiently and effectively has led to the waste of more than a billion in taxpayer dollars,” the letter said. SBEs are state-based insurance exchanges.

The lawmakers said several states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Oregon, received federal funds to establish exchanges, but the states have abandoned their plans and are now joining the federal exchange or using technology from other states.

The letter was written by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). They are seeking answers from the CMS by Aug. 21. House Republicans last year also asked the CMS about its oversight of the SBEs.