NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

$4.8 Billion Spent on Exchanges

July 7, 2014

The federal government has spent $4.8 billion on federal and state health care exchanges, reports the Washington Free Beacon.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service highlights government spending on the new Obamacare exchanges. The Affordable Care Act provided for "indefinite" funding of the exchanges, under the direction of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the report:

  • From 2010 and 2012, the federal government spent $456 million on "exchange operations" before the law was in effect.
  • In 2013, the government spent $1.545 billion on exchange administrative costs.
  • In 2014, the government expects to spend $1.390 billion on the exchanges.

Additionally, federal grants to the states have totaled $4.6 billion, and the government gave $249 million in grants to "early innovators" -- states that created their own exchanges and served as models to other states. While HHS gave more than $4.8 billion to the states and the District of Columbia in grants, only 14 states and D.C. set up their own exchanges. Thirty-six states joined the federal exchange.

The government also spent $700 million on internet memes, GIFs and ads to promote enrollment.

The President's budget calls for $1.8 billion in funding for 2015 to run the exchanges, $1.159 billion of which is supposed to be paid for with user fees. But according to the Congressional Research Service report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expect to collect just $200 million in user fees.

Source: Elizabeth Harrington, "Feds Spent $4.8 Billion on Obamacare Exchanges So Far," Washington Free Beacon, June 25, 2014.


Browse more articles on Health Issues