Report says Obama administration failed to follow health law

Posted at 12:13 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 12:13:09-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nonpartisan investigative agency of Congress says the Obama administration failed to follow the president's health care law in a $5 billion dispute over compensating insurers for high costs from seriously ill patients.

The finding by the Government Accountability Office is a setback for the White House and bolsters Republican complaints that administration officials bent the law as problems arose carrying out its complicated provisions.

The law specified that $5 billion from a $25 billion fee to compensate insurers would go directly to the Treasury. But when fee collections fell short, the administration failed to allocate a share of money to the Treasury.

The GAO says that's "inconsistent with the plain meaning of the statute."

That finding — in an arcane dispute - may complicate administration efforts to stabilize premiums.