Billions More Could Soon Be Spent on Obamacare State Exchanges

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Monday, June 22nd, 2015, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

The Obama administration has already given almost $5.4 billion in federal taxpayer dollars to states for the attempted construction of Obamacare exchange websites starting in 2011, according to official data. With the Supreme Court set to rule on the constitutionality of federal subsidies by the end of the month, there is the very real possibility that dozens of new exchanges will be set up, with billions more spent. Already, two states – Pennsylvania and Delaware – have announced they will construct their own exchange if the court removes federal subsidies.

The first round of state-run exchanges performed disastrously by any measure, with over half struggling financially or outright failing.

Oregon’s exchange was shut down earlier this year after burning through $305 million in federal funds - but not before spending an additional $41 million in taxpayer dollars to move back to the federal exchange. Oregon officials have since come under investigation over accusations they made decisions about the exchange based on political considerations.

Hawaii’s exchange is the latest exchange to shut down after an announcement earlier this month. The website failed to become financially viable, enrolling half the number of individuals as was needed. Hawaii received $205 million in federal funds and it is estimated they will need $30 million to transition back to the federal exchange – if it is still around at the end of the month.

Needless to say, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and any other states considering setting up their own exchange must not make the same blunders that Hawaii, Oregon and many other states have made.

The billions in Obamacare grants were funneled through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to almost all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, although only 15 states chose to set up their own exchange. As a result, these states received over 80 percent of the existing $5.37 billion in grants. However, they received these funds with zero oversight and no strings attached.

Federal grant money was divided into four categories. Planning grants were given to almost every state and DC, although three states returned all or part of their planning grant (Florida, Louisiana and New Hampshire).

Level one establishment grants provided one year of funding to states following their planning grants. Level two grants provided funding to states that were further along in the establishment of their exchange and met certain criteria established by HHS.

HHS also awarded seven states with “early innovator grants” with the goal of assisting these states in the development of IT models that could later be adopted and implemented by other states. This initiative was largely unsuccessful.

See the list, and breakdown of grant type here.​

Information on each grant can be found here. 

See the total funding each state received below:

State

Total

Alabama

$9,772,451

Alaska

Did not apply

Arizona

$30,877,097

Arkansas

$158,039,122

California

$1,065,683,056

Colorado

$184,986,696

Connecticut

$175,870,423

Delaware

$22,236,060

Washington, D.C.

$195,141,152

Florida

$0

Georgia

$1,000,000

Hawaii

$205,342,270

Idaho

$105,292,525

Illinois

$164,902,306

Indiana

$7,895,126

Iowa

$59,683,889

Kansas

$1,000,000

Kentucky

$289,303,526

Louisiana

$0

Maine

$6,877,676

Maryland

$190,080,144

Massachusetts

$224,908,758

Michigan

$41,517,021

Minnesota

$189,363,527

Mississippi

$42,712,661

Missouri

$21,865,716

Montana

$1,000,000

Nebraska

$6,481,838

Nevada

$101,001,068

New Hampshire

$15,253,960

New Jersey

$8,897,316

New Mexico

$123,281,600

New York

$575,079,804

North Carolina

$87,357,315

North Dakota

$1,000,000

Ohio

$1,000,000

Oklahoma

$1,000,000

Oregon

$305,206,587

Pennsylvania

$34,832,212

Rhode Island

$152,574,404

South Carolina

$1,000,000

South Dakota

$6,879,569

Tennessee

$9,110,165

Texas

$1,000,000

Utah

$6,407,987

Vermont

$199,718,542

Virginia

$15,862,889

Washington

$302,333,280

West Virginia

$20,832,828

Wisconsin

$999,873

Wyoming

$800,000

Total:

$5,373,292,439

 

 

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