Earlier this week, Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 4262, the “Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act.” Since Obamacare was implemented, billions have been spent with little accountability and oversight, and several state based exchanges have failed.

This important legislation addresses this waste by implementing strong protections and accountability over the $5.51 billion in federal taxpayer dollars allocated to Obamacare state exchanges. ATR applauds the introduction of this legislation and urges all Members of Congress to support Rep. Allen’s bill.  

Regrettably, it appears that a large percentage of the billions in funds were wasted. Several Obamacare exchanges including Oregon and Hawaii have already failed, while others across the country have struggled to work since launch or have encountered operational difficulties including poor user functionality and lack of scale. 

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) painted a distributing picture regarding the use of state exchange funds. First, just $1 million has been returned to the federal government, according to the report. In addition, one-third of funds was unaccounted for and another one-third was spent on undisclosed, vague expenses such as “outreach” and “education.”

Clearly, there needs to be greater accountability and transparency over how these billions were spent, and Rep. Allen’s legislation does just that.

This legislation requires failed Obamacare state exchanges to return any unused funds to federal taxpayers and requires states to provide a detailed explanation for how they allocated funds. In doing so, it will help shine a light on how several states wasted hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds.

ATR endorses Rep. Allen’s Transparency and Accountability of Failed Exchanges Act and encourages all members of Congress to co-sponsor and support this legislation.