A Nebraska Congressman contends the collapse of CoOportunity Health, leaving thousands of Nebraskans without health coverage, disclosed real problems with federal health insurance law.
Congressman Adrian Smith says much can be learned from the collapse of Iowa-based CoOportunity Health in late 2014.
“Clearly, there were 120,000 Nebraskans and Iowans left without coverage through no fault of their own,” Smith tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
A member of the Obama administration has acknowledged to a Senate committee CoOportunity Health should have been prevented from entering the 2015 open enrollment period, even as it teetered toward collapse at the end of 2014.
The failure of the co-op cost taxpayers millions and left tens of thousands of Nebraskans without health coverage.
Iowa-based regulators stepped in, keeping regulators in Nebraska abreast of their actions. State regulators blame the collapse on setting premiums too low, higher medical pay-outs than expected, and an aggressive enrollment strategy that brought in more clients than the cooperative could handle.
Congress refused to inject the money necessary to keep CoOportunity in business. Iowa liquidated it.
Now, 12 of the 23 health cooperatives established under the Affordable Care Act have failed.
Smith says the co-ops aren’t the only problem.
“When Obamacare first passed, it was a known fact that the bill was flawed,” according to Smith. “Despite that fact, we’ve yet to see the advocates of Obamacare actually put forth a proposal to fix what they know is broken.”
A Congressional report says the failure of the 12 co-ops have left 740,000 people in 14 states scrambling to find health insurance. It estimates their collapse has cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]