Higgins Questions Health Secretary About Tax Breaks for Health Insurance Executives Accused of Defrauding American Taxpayers
At a hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) questioned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price, M.D. about the absurdity of including exorbitant tax breaks for health insurance executives in the Republican health care bill.
(To access video click above or go to: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4672903/congressman-brian-higgins-hhs-fiscal-year-2018-budget-request)
Higgins, who serves on both the Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee, noted that one of the companies that stands to benefit the most is also under investigation for defrauding the federal government and its taxpayers out of millions and potentially billions of dollars through over-billing.
Higgins points out that in 2014 the CEO of UnitedHealth received compensation totaling approximately $66 million and under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) company executives would be entitled to a $15.5 million tax cut.
On May 16, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it filed a complaint against UnitedHealth Group alleging that the insurance company “knowingly obtained inflated risk adjustment payments based on untruthful and inaccurate information about the health status of beneficiaries enrolled in UHG’s Medicare Advantage Plans.” The Western New York U.S. Attorney’s Office is involved in this complaint.
UnitedHealth covers approximately 20% of the Medicare Advantage population, over 3.5 million people.