Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch take aim at HHS' handling of reinsurance program

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) say it was "unacceptable" for the Obama administration to decide not to allocate collections from its reinsurance program to the U.S. Treasury, as the Affordable Care Act mandates. In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the two senators say HHS' guidance issued in May 2014--which said it will not allocate reinsurance contributions to the Treasury due to a shortfall in collections--is against the law and bails out health insurers at the expense of taxpayers.

They also cite a Congressional Research Service report from February that affirms that the ACA statute requires the reinsurance program to allocate funds to the Treasury. Burwell, however, said at a Senate appropriations committee hearing last week that the agency "actually published for comment and notice the approach that we were going to take to use those authorities, and did not have any of the concerns raised as part of that public process," according to The Hill. Rubio has previously taken issue with another of the ACA's provisions, the risk corridor programLetter