ObamaCare provided $5 billion for high risk pools over two years for sick people who can’t qualify for health insurance. In May, the House Republican Conference issued this initial report, which raised concerns about ObamaCare’s high risk pools. Today, President Obama’s administration announced that health insurance will now be available for sick people. However, the administration has already missed two deadlines to implement the program, leaving in limbo uninsured sick people in need of medical attention.
GEHA to Run High Risk Pools in 21 States: Concerned about the additional cost and potential litigation, 21 states decided to let the federal government run the high risk pool for their state. The Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) will administer the plan in those 21 states.
Sick People Must Wait Until October?: Both The New York Times and USA Today reported that sick people in some states might have to wait until September or October before they can get coverage. To date, President Obama’s administration has missed two high risk pool deadlines.
June 23, 2010, Deadline: ObamaCare required high risk pools to be established no later than 90 days after enactment. President Obama signed the bill on March 23, 2010.
June 30, 2010, Deadline: On June 16, 2010, President Obama promised sick Americans, that they would have health insurance in 14 days. He said, “In just two weeks, Americans denied coverage because of preexisting conditions will be able to enroll in a new national insurance pool.”
August 1 or beyond?: The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) said sick people in some states will have to wait until August 1, 2010, or the fall to get coverage.
CBO Questions ObamaCare’s High Risk Pools: In a letter to Sen. Enzi (R-WY), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned that ObamaCare’s $5 billion will not be enough to pay for all eligible individuals, and HHS will be forced to limit enrollees. Previously, President Obama’s chief actuary reached a similar conclusion.
High Risk Pools in H.R. 4038, the Republican Alternative: H.R. 4038, the Republican alternative to ObamaCare, provides $25 billion for high risk pools. CBO said H.R. 4038 is completely paid for by reforming medical malpractice junk lawsuits and without raising taxes or cutting Medicare. In addition, H.R. 4038 relies on the successful current grant formula to distribute the money to existing high risk pools and provides an incentive for states to establish one.