Former O’Malley PSC chair Larsen running Obamacare bailout program
Governor Martin O’Malley’s hand picked former Public Service Commission chairman, Steve Larsen, is overseeing a multibillion Obamacare bailout for the states, labor unions, and private corporations.
According to the Examiner’s Byron York, House Energy and Commerce Committee investigators recently discovered an obscure provision, Section 1102, of the Affordable Care Act, which appropriated $5 billion for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. ERRP subsidizes states, unions, and businesses to provide insurance for early retirees before they become eligible for Medicare. The program began disbursing funds in June of 2010 and is scheduled to sunset in 2014.
The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, headed by Larsen, administers ERRP.
York cites a report by the Department of Health and Human Services, which shows ERRP blowing through the appropriated funds at a rate that will deplete the $5 billion in 2012, two years before it is scheduled to end and Obamacare’s health care exchanges come on line.
Questioned by House Republicans about CCIIO burning through so much cash Larsen said, “It’s a reflection of the success of the program.”
Maryland’s government, counties, municipalities, and corporations received 9.1 million in ERRP funds. The state took in $2.7 million, and Baltimore County received $1.7 million.
Larsen’s record is sketchy at best. During his tenure as CEO of Amerigroup Maryland, the health care provider bilked taxpayers for over $74 million in Medicaid overpayments.
In 2007, Governor O’Malley tapped Larsen—with much fanfare— as one of his “competent, qualified, professional regulators” to chair the Maryland Public Service Commission, and make good on his campaign promise to roll back a 72 percent Baltimore Gas & Electric electricity rate increases. However, it was Larsen’s PSC that in fact rubber stamped the very same increase, and has presided over an 85 percent increase in BG&E customer bills.