Obamacare slush fund discovered

Posted on: April 28, 2011

Just like Nancy Pelosi said, “You have to pass this legislation to find out what’s in it,” House Republicans have uncovered a section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) an unlimited slush fund. Thanks go to the Freedom  Works site that uncovered this slush fund.

In Section 1311(a) the U.S. Treasury can be used for anything the President wants to spend taxpayer money on, under the guise of “activities related to establishing” Obamacare health benefit exchanges. Even though this slush fund ends in 2015, it provides absolutely no limit on how much can be spent before then, and only the vaguest guidance on how it’s spent.

Under Mr. Obama’s approval, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, is already busy using this uncapped fund to seduce states into collaborating in the implementation of Obamacare. She’s issued nearly $50 million in grants to help states “plan and evaluate” how they’ll set up exchanges by 2014 as the law requires them to do.

But that’s just the beginning. Dr. Donald Berwick, the chief administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, has hinted at even more ambitious plans to tap the slush fund to bail out state governments, which are currently groaning under out-of-control Medicaid spending.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has confirmed that the “state-based exchange grants” fund is an “indefinite
appropriation,” meaning it’s open-ended and requires no further action by Congress to be tapped by the President. This means the President could increase the cost of his health care law by not just billions, but hundreds of billions,of dollars, unilaterally.

Thankfully, the House of Representatives have caught this slush fund and are planning to vote on a bill next week to shut it off. The
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates if a bill shutting off this slush fund would save taxpayers about $14 billion over the next 10 years; but this is only a guess on the agency’s part. The savings could be much greater, because the slush fund is not subject to any controls or meaningful limits.

Under our Constitution, only Congress has the power of the purse. This part of the bill formally delegates to the President the power to appropriate funds from the Treasury without oversight or limit. It breaches the separation of powers which is constitutional.


2 Responses to "Obamacare slush fund discovered"

Hey Linn

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. You really should consider publishing your blogs on Rants and Rages as well as your own. It will increase your readership.

I have taken the liberty of reposting this blog on Rants and Rages and gave you the credit of course and included a link back to your blog.

Blessings on you and yours
John Wilder

[…] Obamacare slush fund discovered linswritings | April 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Categories: Politics | URL: […]

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