Democrats on the U.S. House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee today blasted Republican colleagues’ effort to question whether the Obama administration has permission from Congress to operate the Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy program.
Republicans on the committee released a report summarizing their arguments about the constitutionality of program funding and accusing the administration of failing to respond properly to congressional investigations of program funding.
Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, testified at a subcommittee hearing, which was streamed live on the Internet, that the same section in the ACA that provides a permanent appropriation for the ACA exchange plan premium tax credit subsidy program provides a permanent appropriation for the cost-sharing reduction program.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said critics of cost-sharing reduction program funding should come up with another way to help the people who are getting the subsidy.
“If they don’t have it, they can die,” Rangel said at the hearing, which was streamed live on the Internet. “They can absolutely die if they don’t have the money to pay for care.”
Rangel thanked four Obama administration officials who came to respond to Republican attacks on cost-sharing reduction program funding.
“We write the law,” Rangel told them. “You interpret it, and they take us to court.”