Obamacare Exchanges Costs Double: $4.4 Billion

By Paul Scicchitano

As a number of Republican governors continue to say “no” to Obamacare, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) on Wednesday acknowledged that the president’s signature healthcare law is racking up twice the costs to set up the all-important insurance exchanges.

HHS more than doubled its previous cost estimate of $2 billion for the amount it expects to spend to help states set up insurance exchanges, which is a central component of Obamacare.

The agency now expects to spend $4.4 billion by the end of the year, reports The Hill. 

Despite the projection overruns, the department is “determined to make them work,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources Ellen Murray of the exchanges, when asked to comment on the possibility that Congress might deny the funding request, according to the publication.

As Newsmax reported in February, the federal government must play an even bigger role in Obamacare than anticipated because of the health exchanges it must operate for states declining to set up their own.

Exchanges were envisioned as places where private consumers, who aren’t necessarily covered by an employer healthcare program, can compare and purchase healthcare coverage.

Since a number of Republican governors have opted out of the new law, HHS will be responsible for running exchanges in those states that choose not to participate, according to The Hill, which notes that only 17 states and the District of Columbia have been approved to run exchanges.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters on Wednesday that the implementation funding is an “ongoing conversation with Congress” and “I’m hoping Congress will see that this is the law of the land.”

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