Only in Washington would running out of money and prematurely limiting a program be considered a success. This Friday (May 6,) Obamacare’s first handout program will cease accepting new applications, but not before billions of dollars have been redistributed or promised from taxpayers to the political savy and well connected.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) was intended to bridge the time gap between Congress’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the law’s implementation. But it has done much more than that. ERRP is saturated with handouts, inaccurate funding assumptions, and shifts an ever greater burden onto the taxpayer.
The Obama administration implemented ERRP on June 1, 2010, as a provision in the president’s health care law. The $5 billion dollar program was supposed to last until 2014, but it has already burned through almost $1.8 billion in less than one year. On March 31, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which administers ERRP, announced that the program had doled out that sum to 1,300 participants.