US insurance giant AIG, partly nationalized a year ago to avert a collapse authorities said would destabilize the global financial system, needs to repay nearly 121 billion dollars in taxpayer aid, an official report said Monday.To put that in perspective, $121 billion is roughly the difference between health care reform with the public option (the HELP bill at roughly $1 trillion) and health care reform without the public option (the Baucus bill at roughly $850 billion).
The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said the ultimate success of AIG's restructuring and repayment efforts remains uncertain," in a report on the 700-billion-dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The GAO said that American International Group, which received by far the biggest federal bailout, had shown some progress in its ability to repay the federal assistance.
But that "improvement in the stability of AIG's business depends on the long-term health of the company, market conditions, and continued government support," the report said.
Nice, huh? We apparently can't afford a public option because we bailed out AIG.