Bill Refunds Taxpayer Money for Botched Healthcare Exchanges

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | May 16, 2014 | 3:26 PM EDT

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) is cosponsoring The State Exchange Accountability Act because he believes "taxpayers ought to get their money back" from states with failed Obamacare exchanges.

"They've wasted a lot of taxpayer dollars in the process. And - when you have incompetence and mismanagement - I just think that the taxpayers of America ought to get their money back from those states that allowed those sorts of problems to occur. People want accountability, not excuses," Barrasso told Fox News.

"So how much money are we talking about? Well, according to the Congressional Research Service, the federal government awarded grants of over $4.7 billion as of this March," Barrasso said in a Senate floor speech yesterday.

"This bill that I'm introducing today tells state bureaucrats like these from these states that it's time for them to care about the money they've wasted," he said.

Sen. Barrasso told Fox the refunds would be paid back over a ten year period, not in one lump sum:

"The states would, over a ten year period, have to pay back about a tenth of what they've collected each of those next ten years."

"I'm going to meet with the nominee to be secretary of Health and Human Services later today to discuss that specific point - to make sure that taxpayers get their money back," Sen. Barrasso said.