Byron York: Unions, states get secret bailout in ObamaCare
Well, they passed the bill and more than a year later we're still finding out what's in it.
Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.
The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIO -- the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. CCIO, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 -- shortly after Obamacare was passed -- and ending on January 1, 2014, as the system of national health care exchanges was scheduled to go into effect.
The program began making payouts last June, just a couple of months after it passed and long before any of the program's alleged benefits started kicking in for the rest of us. And for a lot of us, those "benefits" amount to higher taxes and less access to health care. Thanks! States got massive payouts, the auto workers union got a really massive payout, and those lovely folks at the Teamsters got a massive payout. ObamaCare is one part statism, and one part cronyism, and both parts are hideously and unsustainably expensive.
ObamaCare needs to be ripped out root and branch, along with all of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid corruptocrats who voted for it.