Gov Cuomo Blames Obama Administration for New York’s Failed Obamacare Co-op

Torn Healthcare, Obama Sign AP
AP Photo

Facing a flood of condemnation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has shifted blame to the Obama administration for the collapse of America’s largest Obamacare co-op, Health Republic.

“Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday night sought to share responsibility for a key New York health co-op with the federal government, hours after a Republican congressman and possible challenger blamed the governor for not being more engaged,” POLITICO reports.

That Republican congressman is Chris Gibson, who says he’s “taking action to protect New Yorkers who are losing their health insurance.”

After more than $265 million in start-up loans to Health Republic failed to keep New York’s lone Obamacare co-op from falling into bankruptcy, the Department of Health and Human Services and New York health officials blocked the non-profit insurer from selling policies on that state’s exchange and forbade the acceptance of new enrollees.

Cuomo said he was working “hand in glove,” according to POLITICO, with the Obama Administration “to unwind Health Republic of New York and transition its more than 200,000 customers—20 percent of the individual market in the state—to a new carrier in the next nine days.”

New York’s Obamacare co-op was the fourth of what is now 13 failed Obamacare state exchanges. More than half of the 23 co-ops have folded so far.

Primarily non-profit insurers, Obamacare co-ops offer cheaper insurance plans to consumers through each respective state’s exchange. However, enrollment never kept pace with the Obama administration’s expectations, and healthcare claims were often higher than the federal government’s projections. A 2014 Inspector General’s report revealed that 22 of the 23 Obamacare state co-ops lost money that year.