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Camp: Administration Needs to Explain $111 Billion Increase In Spending for Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies

March 02, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking the department to provide a detailed explanation for its projected $111 billion increase in spending for health insurance exchange subsidies (premium tax credits) in the Democrats’ health care law.  The increase, which was included in the FY2013 budget proposal, reflects a 30 percent increase over the FY2012 budget proposal.  

Camp questioned Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sebelius about the requested increase during her February 28 testimony before the Ways and Means Committee on the FY2013 budget.  Similar questions were also raised yesterday during an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing, where Secretary Sebelius also testified.  No conclusive explanation was provided on either occasion.  Since the subsidies are administered through the Treasury Department, Camp requested that Secretary Geithner provide an explanation on the HHS budget request.  

During Tuesday’s hearing and again today, Camp questioned why the increase was so much larger than it was just one year ago.  He called on the Administration to address whether the request might be a result of higher than expected premiums or a loss of private insurance and stated:

“When you compare expected spending on the subsidies from this year’s budget to last year’s budget over the same time period, the amount of growth is nothing short of explosive.  This suggests either premiums are going to be more expensive than the Administration predicted, more workers will lose the insurance they have through their job, or a combination of the two.  The question for this Administration is, which is it?”

For a copy of the letter click here.