ObamaCare's Early Retiree Subsidy Program Out of Money Already

ObamaCare's early retiree health insurance fund, originally intended to last all the way until 2014, is just about out of money

A $5 billion fund that helped cover health insurance for more than five million early retirees will stop taking claims for expenses incurred after Dec. 31 because it is running out of money, according to a notice Friday in the Federal Register.

The funds were used to reimburse employers who subsidize health insurance for early retirees, ages 55 to 64, not yet eligible for Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted an update on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, part of the 2010 health law, noting that $4.5 billion had been spent as of Dec. 9. The early exhaustion of funds due to heavy enrollment had been anticipated.

In this case, "anticipated" refers to the fact that the program was shut down in April—only about two and a half years ahead of schedule—because the money started flying out the door far faster than expected. The program offered generous subsidies to big corporations and unions if they decided to fund health insurance for early retirees; essentially any employer that promised not to fund insurance for folks who clocked out of work a few years early got money. Shockingly (but not really), it turned out there were more large employers ready to sign up for the subsidies than expected. As of April, 2011, the United Auto Workers union had taken the biggest single payout, at a little more than $200 million. Telecom companies AT&T and Verizon took $140 million and $91 million, respectively, during the same time period. More than half of the money spent in its first year of operation went straight to government-run retirement plans in California, New Jersey, Kentucky, and other states. (In many respects, the program looks like an attempt at a partial backdoor bailout for these plans.) Thanks to dwindling funds, the program was shuttered to new entrants years early, and won't be taking new claims as of the end of this year. 

In the Obama administration, this is what's known as a success

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  • ||

    the money started flying out the door far faster than expected. The program offered generous subsidies to big corporations and unions

    Gawrsh. Who could have seen that coming?

  • ||

    I'm shocked, for one.

    Someone please es'plain to me why I am subsidizing someone else's ability to retire at 55? Are you fucking kidding me?

    I honestly hope we run out of other people's money real soon, because this is really starting to piss me off.

  • ||

    The free money store continues to underestimate the demand for its product.

  • ||

    How sad for Cosner that Tombstone came out a year earlier.

  • ||

    Costner. Sorry.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And that it was the greatest movie in the history of movies, whereas Wyatt Earp I didn't even see.

  • ||

    Why would you? How could Costner possibly have topped the greatness that was Tombstone?

    Not that I agree that it was the greatest movie ever, but it was damned good. Most especially Val Kilmer's performance.

  • ||

    Yeah, Wyatt Earp wasn't bad but it couldnt hold a candle to Tombstone. Dennis Quaid was pretty good as Holliday in the former, but not near Val Kilmer's awesomeness.

  • A Serious Man||

    Maybe he shouldn't have made such a crappy movie?

    Tombstone was awesome, one of my favorite Westerns simply because the cast was so good.

  • ||

    Val Kilmer fucking killed as Doc Holliday. He went to his Juilliard accent teacher and said "I need an extinct Southern aristocrat accent".

  • ||

    And he found it in spades.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He's your huckleberry.

  • ||

    Fucking Val. So awesome, yet so not doing all that much these days. He needs to show up in Iron Man III or something.

  • A Serious Man||

    And then you had actors like Sam Elliot, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Stephen Lang, and Charlton Frickin' Heston in well-defined supporting roles. Even the narrator, Robert Mitchum, was legendary.

  • ||

    And they did the gunfight at the O.K. Corral as close to the real thing as possible given historical records, including where everyone was standing, who got shot with what, etc.

  • ||

    Tombstone is my favorite Western--everyone in it was good--Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, even the smaller players like Powers Boothe and Jason Priestly.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The early exhaustion of funds due to heavy enrollment had been anticipated.

    That's like the saying the bloody nose from the guy who can't take a joke was anticipated right before his fist made contact. Anticipated makes it sound like they knew it would happen when crafting the program. Clearly not.

    ...because the money started flying out the door far faster than expected.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: We need to hire better expecters.

  •  ||

    So the fund has used up all its money and now it is closed to new entrants, it won't take any more claims, and it won't borrow any more money to keep going. That's a good thing.

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa.....DRINK!

  • ||

    Now what happens when the claims are filed?
    Does this option include a Death Panel?

  • Spoonman.||

    Wouldn't bricks be shat by the Left if Bush had engaged in a blind corporate giveaway of a tenth of this magnitude? The congruent execrable incompetence of the Teams is really amazing.

  • Obamacare rationing||

    Missing is the fact that the united auto workers union got over $300 million - biggest winner! They helped Obama, needless to say.

    Obamacare helping the most vulnerable!

  • CraigJCasey||

    This is why Obamacare is unaffordable. It's crony socialism! http://www.cobrahealth.com/Unaffordable.html

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