Roskam: Obamacare offshoot program funded illegally
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Dist. 6), chairman of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, appeared on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren last week, where he accused the Obama administration of unconstitutional spending on the Affordable Care Act’s Basic Health Program.
“So here’s what’s going on. We’ve just learned that the administration is paying out of a tax-refund account non-appropriated money into something called a Basic Health Program, which was authorized by Obamacare to subsidize various health programs, but Congress never authorized any money for it," Roskam said during the interview. "We just learned within the past couple of weeks that the administration has paid out $60 million to the state of Minnesota — and that’s just for one month. They’re just getting going. They’re expecting $600 million to Minnesota this year.”
Roskam accused the administration of spending money without first assuring it is properly appropriated.
“There is a real problem here when administrations spend money that’s not appropriated, and they’re just doing it with impunity," Roskam said.
The day before this interview, Roskam grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell at a Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing for answers on how the administration is paying for the program when no funding authority has been provided by Congress. Burwell said the administration can fund the Basic Health Program legally under the Premium Tax Credit provisions of the ACA, which have a permanent appropriation. The Basic Health Program, however, is not a tax credit, and the law does not allow payments that are not specifically appropriated.