WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) today announced the issuance of a subpoena for documents related to the risky Obamacare health CO-OP loan program after repeated requests for the documents were ignored.
The subpoena, issued late Friday to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, requires HHS to produce all documents related to the reviews which assessed each CO-OP applicant’s financial viability, as well as communication between HHS employees, contractors and Executive Office employees discussing the applicants’ financial viability or ability to repay the CO-OP loan.
The Committee initially requested information on the CO-OP program in October 2012 and again in March 2013. A June 7, 2013 letter to Secretary Sebelius stated, “[T]his delay is unacceptable and your lack of transparency is troubling.”
The Obamacare CO-OP program used taxpayer money to loan $2 billion to companies establishing non-profit health insurance issuers. However, the Office of Management and Budget estimated the taxpayer losses for the loans at 43.2 percent. Moreover, several companies have experienced legal or financial troubles. For instance, the Vermont Health Co-op, which received a $34 million taxpayer-backed loan, was last month denied an insurance license by the state of Vermont. In letters to HHS, the Committee expressed concern that the process used to select loan recipients was flawed and lacked transparency.
The Committee has requested more information from 13 of the 24 companies that received loans through the CO-OP program:
- Freelancers Union CO-OPs of New York, New Jersey and Oregon (letter)
- Hospitality Health (letter)
- CoOportunity Health (letter)
- Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc. (letter)
- Kentucky Health Cooperative, Inc. (letter)
- Maine Community Health Options (letter)
- Land of Lincoln Health, Inc. (letter)
- Evergreen Health Cooperative (letter)
- Montana Health Cooperative (letter)
- HealthyCT (letter)
- Vermont Health Co-op (letter)