September 14, 2016
The Honorable Mark Walker
6th District, North Carolina
312 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Walker,
On behalf of the 1.3 million members of AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens, I am writing in strong support of the H.R. 5904, the Taxpayers Before Insurers Act. This important piece of legislation would remove 50% of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for illegally diverting funds to insurance companies instead of to the Treasury by means of the reinsurance program. In response to the blatant executive abuses of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this bill provides a means to protect American taxpayers by ensuring HHS return the $3.5 billion the Treasury is owed.
The ACA created a reinsurance program to compensate insurance companies for providing plans to high risk individuals. As stated in the law, HHS must deposit a portion of the funds coming from the reinsurance program to the Treasury. In 2014, HHS collected $9.7 billion from the reinsurance program. Instead of paying the Treasury the $2 billion owed, the department reprioritized the payment to go directly to the insurance companies. This practice of reprioritization continued in 2015 when HHS compensated insurance companies with 6 of the $6.5 billion collected. In fact, of the $4 billion owed to the Treasury, only $500 million has been paid. In a time with limited economic growth, taxpayers are feeling the burden of an administration that continues to defy the law.
The Taxpayers Before Insurers Act is as responsible as it is necessary. This bill proposes the removal of federal funds only if HHS fails to pay money owed to the Treasury. While keeping the administration accountable should not require an act of legislation, this bill provides a clear and reasonable way to do so. As executive abuses become more frequent, it is clear that oversight must increase. H.R. 5904 is a step in the right direction to redress this administration’s neglect for the law.
As an organization committed to representing the interests of mature Americans and seniors, AMAC is dedicated to ensuring senior citizens’ interests are protected. We applaud Congressman Walker and your attentive staff for your commonsense and responsible solution to keep the administration accountable to the taxpayers. AMAC is pleased to offer our organization’s full support to the Taxpayers Before Insurers Act.
President and Founder of AMAC