House Republicans warn against settling risk corridor payment suits

House Republicans have threatened to sue the president's administration should it make moves to settle lawsuits with insurers over risk corridor payments, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Forty-six congressional Republicans sent a letter to HHS Thursday warning officials that settlements with insurers would bypass spending limits set by Congress, and could encourage more insurers to sue in hopes of gaining settlement money.  

Republicans' concerns about settlements were prompted by a Sept. 9 memo on 2015 risk corridor payments in which HHS said it was open to discussing resolution of the lawsuits, according to the article.  

A slew of health insurers who were owed payments under the risk corridor program sued the federal government after HHS notified insurers they would receive 12.6 percent of payment owed for 2014. The risk corridor program, which runs through 2016, fell short by more than $2.5 billion in its first year because of financial losses incurred on the individual market.

An HHS official told The Wall Street Journal that "as in all cases where there is litigation risk, we are open to discussing resolution of those claims." The Department of Justice is representing HHS in the risk corridor lawsuits.

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