Senator vows to block HHS nominees until Obama explains why third of health care co-ops have failed
Pressure is mounting on the administration to account for the cascading failure of Obamacare’s co-op program, where more than a third of participants have gone bust, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in federal loans.
The co-ops, or Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, are nonprofits set up under the Affordable Care Act as alternatives to big insurance companies. They began to offer subsidized insurance coverage as of January 2014.
But eight of the 23 that were established went gone belly-up. Co-ops in Tennessee, Colorado and Oregon last week joined others that failed in Kentucky, New York, Nevada and Louisiana, plus a joint operation in Nebraska and Iowa.
Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said Monday that he would block any political appointees to the Health and Human Services Department until the administration explains the failures.
“Hundreds of thousands of enrollees lost their plans when co-ops in nine states collapsed, and these victims deserve clear and honest answers from the bureaucrats who oversaw the mess,” Mr. Sasse said.