U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-La.) sent a follow up letter to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), urging CMS to change its existing policy which allows insurance companies to prohibit non-profit charity organizations from helping sick patients pay for their expensive Obamacare health plans. Third party payments from non-profit charities have helped seniors secure healthcare services in the Medicare program. The letter specifically asks the agency to apply the same standard with regards to third party payments from non-profit charity organizations used by Medicare to health plans under the Obamacare Exchange.
"Obamacare is hurting all Louisianians, but preventing charities from helping offset these rising costs directly targets our lowest income, most vulnerable patient populations," Vitter said. "The Obama administration is trying to walk back its stance, but in r eality this doesn't change anything. It's just another political stunt."
"By not allowing third-party payments, the government is interfering with America's rich tradition of allowing charitable organizations to care for those who are less fortunate. Outside help, when available, should be welcomed," Cassidy said. "A side-effect of Obamacare, many vulnerable Louisianans are worried about how they are going to pay for healthcare. The Obama Administration needs to address the issue, not spin it for political purposes."
Vitter and Cassidy sent an initial letter to Tavenner on May 14, 2014. On May 21, 2014, CMS informed the American Hospital Association (AHA) that third party non-profit organizations may contribute toward premiums for patients enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs) in the Obamacare exchanges. Vitter and Cassidy say that this response still does not apply the existing Medicare standard to Obamacare.