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ICYMI: Rubio Discusses Legislation To Prevent Taxpayer Funded Bailout Under ObamaCare

Jan 15, 2014 | Press Releases

Rubio: “I want to see who in this town has the guts to stand up and say, ‘I support bailing out insurance companies.’”
Senator Marco Rubio
“The Hugh Hewitt Show”
January 14, 2014

Hugh Hewitt: “But there is also a provision in ObamaCare that you have a piece coming out tomorrow that I want to talk to you about. It’s called the Health Insurance Industry Bailout, or the ObamaCare Bailout.”

Senator Rubio: “Right.”

Hewitt: “Would you explain to people what that is?”

Rubio: “Yeah, I mean, look, the best way to explain it is there’s this concept called risk corridors. And what it basically, it’s a fancy term for money that is available to help companies who have lost money in the insurance marketplace. They enter this marketplace under certain promises or assurances, or you know, calculations that they’ve made. They insure people. It turns out that the people they insured cost a lot more than they anticipated, they lose money, and in steps the government to bail them out. Now in a normal, regular insurance marketplace where most, the vast and enormous majority of companies have priced it right and are going to make a profit, it has some utility, this sort of idea, because what you don’t want is you don’t want providers not to get paid, and you don’t want patients to go without care. The problem with applying that to ObamaCare is the way that ObamaCare has now developed, as we knew it would, it is a guaranteed loss. You look at, for example, the news today, at the people that are signing up are disproportionately older and sicker. Well, that’s not who these people, that’s not who these insurance companies thought they were getting when they signed up for this. And many supported this. And as a result, ObamaCare and the exchanges have gone from being an insurance marketplace to basically a high-risk pool. And the result is that almost all of these companies are now going to require a bailout. And it’s going to cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to achieve it. And we should not be in the business of doing that, and I filed a bill months ago that wipes that out and does not allow that to move forward. If you’ve got to be bailing companies out in order to participate in ObamaCare, that in and of itself tells you that the law is doomed and flawed.”

Hewitt: “Now the reality is, though, no bill’s going to pass this year, right?”

Rubio: “Well, I don’t know.”

Hewitt: “I mean, the Senate?”

Rubio: “I mean, I would like to see particularly vulnerable Democrats who are already on record as having supported ObamaCare and having to defend that. I want to see who in this town has the guts to stand up and say, ‘I support bailing out insurance companies.’ Now the insurers are already going around issuing paper and directives to their lobbyists to threaten that this is going to lead to a single payer system, and this, that and the other. And the bottom line is I understand that many of these insurance companies got into this business to begin with because they thought that the people signing up were going to be a certain demographic. And now, it’s turned out not to be the case. But the bottom line is many of these insurance companies supported ObamaCare. They thought it was a way to force people to become their customers. And by no means should the American taxpayer now be forced to step in and bail out these private companies. And we’ve done this already in the financial sector. We’ve done this in the automotive sector. And now we’re going to do it in the insurance marketplace? When does this stop?”

Hewitt: “Well, if you can get a vote on the record for Kay Hagan and Jeanne Shaheen and Mary Landrieu and Mark Udall and Mark Pryor, amen. I mean, that would be terrific. You think Harry Reid will ever allow you to do that?”

Rubio: “Well, I don’t know how he’s going to be able to stand up against this. I think the public pressure will be enormous. And I think when people realize that we are bailing out private insurance companies, many of whom, by the way, were supportive of ObamaCare because what they thought it would mean for them, and now it hasn’t turned out that way, when people realize what’s in it, I don’t know how anyone around here … now you know, listen, I’ve been surprised before about the lack of shame that somehow I’ve seen from time to time in this process. But I cannot imagine, and look, if you know, they’ve got the guts to stand up and say they support bailing out insurance companies, then you know, that’s fine. But I just find it hard to believe too many people are prepared to say that.”