The Trump administration has begun to take action against a company that sells government-supplied health insurance for $1,000 a month and has been forced to take a legal stand to prevent it from using government funds to pay for the same services.
The government agency that oversees Medicare, the federal program for the elderly, announced on Monday that it will fine Target for “unauthorized use of Medicare payments for health care, including the purchase of Medicare-covered health insurance.”
The penalty is the latest step in an effort by the Trump White House to force the retailer to make payments that are more costly than the government pays for the cost of providing those services.
Target has been operating under a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that includes a $1.5 billion payment to help it meet Medicare reimbursement requirements.
The deal requires the retailer make its own payments for certain services, including inpatient hospital stays and prescriptions.
The company has refused to comply with those payments, arguing that the payments are a way to keep prices down.
It has also argued that if it does not make the payments it will lose government funds.
But the government’s enforcement of its contract has sparked an unprecedented campaign of pressure on the company, with several senators and congressional representatives threatening to hold up the sale of the government program and threaten to block any future government payments.
Under the government contract, Target agreed to pay Medicare for the services it provided to Medicare Advantage enrollees, which are older, sicker seniors.
But the company has argued that this program is a way for Medicare to keep costs down for the government, which is already paying the bulk of the cost for those enrollees.
Target’s argument has been that it can pay for its services using the federal money it already receives for the payments.
Target, which has more than 700 stores nationwide, said in a statement on Monday the company is “currently in negotiations with the government regarding its compliance with the Medicare-Outsourcing Agreement.”
The company said it is “committed to working collaboratively with the Department of HHS to resolve any potential issues regarding its Medicare-Osourcing Agreement with Medicare Advantage.”