Friday, October 03, 2014

Did Obamacare Piss Away $340 Million?

Remember Sara Horowitz and the Freelancers Union? Mike and I have penned posts about them multiple times (here, for example). Well, they are in the news again this week. Before sharing the news let's recap:

Back in 2012 the Obama Administration, through HHS, awarded the Freelancers Union $341 million to set up health insurance cooperatives in New York, New Jersey, and Oregon.

In March of 2013 The Times wrote glowingly about their journey into the insurance world.
"Together, the union and its health insurance company have a staff of 80, and Ms. Horowitz receives a salary of $272,000 for her dual role as head of the union and the insurance company. She notes proudly that while health insurance premiums rose by 5 percent, on average, for Americans this year, the Freelancers Insurance Company is not raising premiums at all for its policy holders."
In June of 2013 the Freelancers Union asked for relief because Obamacare's “onerous regulations and taxes will burden its innovative health insurance model for the self-employed with enormous added costs.”

In February of 2014 Ms. Horowicz claimed during testimony to a house oversite committee that the Freelancers Union "was well qualified — perhaps the most qualified organization — to serve as a sponsor" of the New York co-op.

So what is happening now?

From the New York Times (yes the same paper who applauded them 18 months ago):
"The Freelancers Union, which provides health insurance to 25,000 of its members in New York State, is ending an experiment in providing low-cost insurance to independent workers, saying the new landscape created by the federal Affordable Care Act makes it impossible to do so."
Which leads us to the question: Will HHS seek repayment of these low interest loans and other funds that have been awarded rewarded to one of President Obama's biggest proponents?

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