Obama Administration Steals $3 Billion From The Treasury To Fund Obamacare Kickbacks

ThisIsNotMe

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The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/treasury-wont-explain-decision-to-make-3-billion-in-obamacare-payments/article/2560739

Pretty much par for the course for this administration. The utter disregard for the Constitutional process (by bypassing the appropriations process and stealing the money) is no longer shocking.
 

rdowns

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Four pages into a Google search and I can't find anything on it other than right wing sites. Me thinks there's more to this story.
 

mudslag

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http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/treasury-wont-explain-decision-to-make-3-billion-in-obamacare-payments/article/2560739

Pretty much par for the course for this administration. The utter disregard for the Constitutional process (by bypassing the appropriations process and stealing the money) is no longer shocking.

In order to help individuals with the affordability of health insurance obtained from newly-created Health Insurance Marketplaces, Congress enacted a system of premium tax credits, cost sharing reduction payments, and advance payments of these subsidies. The Act establishes federal premium tax credits to assist eligible individuals with household incomes from 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level to purchase insurance through the new Marketplaces. For eligible individuals with household income from 100 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, the Act also reduces the cost of cost sharing expenses (such as co payments or deductibles) for insurance obtained through the Marketplace and requires payments to insurers to cover these reduced cost sharing expenses. Cost-sharing reduction payments continue to be made to insurers on behalf of consumers and the cumulative amount of these payments for 2014 is $2.997 billion.
http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1677155/paul-ryan-response-re-csrs.txt


It's in the bill that it has to be paid.
 

mudslag

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Where is the appropriations legislation?
The payments are mandated via the bill passed, they fall outside of the annual appropriations process and given we are way passed the session it was passed under, it's considered permanent now.

Budget authority that becomes available as the result of previously enacted legislation (substantive legislation or prior appropriations act) and does not require current action by Congress. Budget authority is considered to be "current" if provided in the current session of Congress and "permanent" if provided in prior sessions.
Source - The Senate website
 
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ThisIsNotMe

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The payments are mandated via the bill passed, they fall outside of the annual appropriations process and given we are way passed the session it was passed under, it's considered permanent now.
That isn't how the budget process works. It still must be appropriated by Congress. I think the justification is laughable. I hope you realize that Social Security is also not 'permanent' and can be taken away from you at any given moment.

Anyways, the Congressional Research Service also disagrees with you so I don't know what else to say.
 

mudslag

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That isn't how the budget process works. It still must be appropriated by Congress. I think the justification is laughable. I hope you realize that Social Security is also not 'permanent' and can be taken away from you at any given moment.

Anyways, the Congressional Research Service also disagrees with you so I don't know what else to say.

Then take the issue up with congress, they passed the bill knowing what was asked and passed the rule regarding permanent appropriation. As for Paul Ryan asking for a reason, the treasury department sent him one.
 

ThisIsNotMe

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Then take the issue up with congress, they passed the bill knowing what was asked and passed the rule regarding permanent appropriation. As for Paul Ryan asking for a reason, the treasury department sent him one.
For fiscal year 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the division of Health and Human Services that implements the program), asked Congress for an annual appropriation of $4 billion to finance the cost-sharing payments that year and another $1.4 billion “advance appropriation” for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, “to permit CMS to reimburse issuers …”

In making the request, CMS was in effect acknowledging that it needed congressional appropriations to make the payments. But when Congress rejected the request, the administration went ahead and made the payments anyway.

The argument that annual appropriations are required to make payments is also backed up by a report from the Congressional Research Service, which has differentiated between the tax credit subsidies that Obamacare provides to individuals to help them purchase insurance, and the cost-sharing payments to insurers.
Yes. You are correct as both HHS and CRS disagree with you. LOL.
 

mudslag

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Yes. You are correct as both HHS and CRS disagree with you. LOL.


So basically it comes down to how both sides view it as. Which will end up having congress or the courts left to work out the dispute. In the end this prob wont be anything more then another rabble rabble rabble from Ryan. LOL
 

ThisIsNotMe

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So basically it comes down to how both sides view it as. Which will end up having congress or the courts left to work out the dispute. In the end this prob wont be anything more then another rabble rabble rabble from Ryan. LOL
I don't ascribe to either party but wait for the hilarity when you party is not in power.
 

mudslag

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I don't ascribe to either party but wait for the hilarity when you party is not in power.


First off I never claimed you did, though it is funny how quickly you jumped to defend your non affiliation when none was even suggested. Second Im more then aware that politics is nothing more then a seesaw, both sides take turn at the top and bottom. It's pretty much expected given this countries divided political leanings.
 

ThisIsNotMe

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First off I never claimed you did, though it is funny how quickly you jumped to defend your non affiliation when none was even suggested. Second Im more then aware that politics is nothing more then a seesaw, both sides take turn at the top and bottom. It's pretty much expected given this countries divided political leanings.
So the treasury cannot defend their allocation of $3 billion which should be disturbing to anyone.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

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That isn't how the budget process works. It still must be appropriated by Congress. I think the justification is laughable. I hope you realize that Social Security is also not 'permanent' and can be taken away from you at any given moment.
Sure, the Republicans would love to shut it down, despite the fact that the Social Security Trust Fund is at $2.789 Trillion (up from $2.6T in 2010 -- still going up, although, it is flattening out and should start to decline next year). Only the nut wing could claim that Social Security is "going broke".


http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/assets.html




Back on topic. Congress decided long ago to set these self-funded social insurance programs up for continued operation. These are quite different from, for example, DoD appropriations, which are required by the Constitution to be constantly re-authorized.


To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
Come to think of it, the way it is phrased, it looks like the two-year clause only applies to the Army and not the Navy. I never noticed that before.
 

mudslag

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So the treasury cannot defend their allocation of $3 billion which should be disturbing to anyone.

Technically they did as per the letter they sent Ryan, whether or not it's accepted is another matter but it was defended.
 

dsnort

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I don't ascribe to either party but wait for the hilarity when you party is not in power.
Oh, there's a different set of rules then! ( Have you noticed how Harry Reid et al has rediscovered their love of the filibuster they nuked last year?)


So basically it comes down to how both sides view it as. Which will end up having congress or the courts left to work out the dispute. In the end this prob wont be anything more then another rabble rabble rabble from Ryan. LOL
Yes yes, move along, nothing to see here but a stonewall.
 
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dsnort

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They never nuked it for legislation.
No, they didn't. I just find it some what humorous how Harry has been saying, basically, "I hope the new majority leader doesn't do to me and my party like I've been doing to them for the last 6 years". Not that he need to worry, a newborn babe could outmaneuver McConnell 'cause it still has a spine.
 

samiwas

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Waste tens of billions on a plane, no big deal...it's defense!!!

Spend a few billion on citizens healthcare...OUTRAGE!!!!
 

Eraserhead

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No, they didn't. I just find it some what humorous how Harry has been saying, basically, "I hope the new majority leader doesn't do to me and my party like I've been doing to them for the last 6 years". Not that he need to worry, a newborn babe could outmaneuver McConnell 'cause it still has a spine.
What exactly is your point? Filibuster against bills was never banned. And majority leaders always complain about it to an extent.
 

dsnort

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What exactly is your point? Filibuster against bills was never banned. And majority leaders always complain about it to an extent.
3 points:

1.) That you are correct, the Dems did not nuke filibuster for legislation.

2.) Harry Reid is a hypocrite, ( he's not the only one). The hypocrisy will continue as long as we ignore it.

3.) Mitch McConnell has no spine. If it's a principal, fight for it. If you won't fight for it, it's not a principal, it's a wish. ( I wish I was that type of person).
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

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For those interested in a more reputable source on the subject, here's an article from the New York Times, published November 2014: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/us/politics/suit-on-health-law-puts-focus-on-funding-powers-.html?_r=0
Thank you. I was looking for that but couldn't find it.

I'm still confused about some of the finer points. The issue is actually pretty subtle, and, I could easily imagine that the next President will be in office before it is settled.