Grassroots rallies behind effort, as new co-sponsors sign on
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR) today welcomed new signs of growing momentum against a taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurance companies under ObamaCare. In a recent letter to Rubio and Griffin, 33 national groups and leaders, representing the views of millions of Americans, formed a coalition in support of legislation to eliminate ObamaCare risk corridor payments.
There are currently 13 Senate co-sponsors of S.1726, The ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act. In the House, H.R. 3541 currently has 54 co-sponsors.
“As awareness grows about the likelihood of a taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurers under ObamaCare, this possibility will be taken off the table,” said Rubio and Griffin in a joint statement. “The American people are tired of paying for Washington’s mistakes and tired of politicians who leave them and future generations with the bill. If ObamaCare can’t survive without a taxpayer-funded bailout, it’s another sure sign this entire health law has to be replaced.”
In November, Rubio and Griffin introduced The ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, a bill that would eliminate a provision of ObamaCare that allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts of insurance companies at the Obama Administration’s sole discretion. Under ObamaCare’s section 1342, so-called risk corridors were established for the law’s first three years as a safety net for insurers who experience financial losses. The Rubio-Griffin bill would fully repeal the risk corridor provision, thereby ensuring that no bailout will occur under ObamaCare’s section 1342.
Last week, 33 groups and leaders delivered the following letter to Rubio and Griffin. A PDF is available here. In addition to the signatories below, the legislation has been endorsed by American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Club for Growth, R Street Institute, and TeaParty.net.
January 21, 2014
Senator Marco Rubio
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20010
Representative Tim Griffin
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Senator Rubio and Representative Griffin:
We, the undersigned, strongly support and endorse your efforts to eliminate the “risk corridor” payments in the Affordable Care Act that prevent participating insurance companies from sustaining Obamacare-inflicted financial losses.
Obamacare’s risk corridor program is nothing more than a built-in, blank-check bailout of the health insurance companies. These annual, unlimited payments, intended to mitigate the law’s effects on insurers and mask its true costs, will in fact only encourage private companies to gamble with taxpayers’ money. This bailout has no policy justification except to put taxpayers on the hook for losses incurred by private corporations.
Free markets necessitate that private companies rightly keep the rewards of their own good choices, and equally they must bear the costs of their own poor choices. It is wrong for private health insurance companies to shift their financial losses onto the American taxpayer.
The Administration’s enrollment reports suggest that the exchanges are attracting a disproportionate share of older people, while high premiums and out-of-pocket costs could well be deterring the healthy from signing up. If so, insurers can be expected to experience significant financial losses, perhaps running into tens of billions of dollars. While the exact budgetary cost won’t be known until the exchanges have been operating for a year, we do know that it will come on top of a staggering $1 trillion already slated under Obamacare to go to insurance companies over the coming decade.
Eliminating the risk-corridor payments would avert an additional massive wealth transfer from the American taxpayer to private insurers.
We hope you share this letter with colleagues and congressional leaders in order to build support for repealing Obamacare’s built-in bailout of the insurance industry.
The HSA Coalition
Michael A. Needham
Heritage Action for America
Tea Party Express
60 Plus Association
President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice
The Honorable Betsy McCaughey
Former Lieutenant Governor, State of New York
Author, Beating Obamacare
Americans for Tax Reform
Vice President of Government Affairs
National Taxpayers Union
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
National Tax Limitation Foundation
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Restore America’s Mission
Restore America’s Voice
Colin A. Hanna
Let Freedom Ring
Campaign for Liberty
Institute for Liberty
Liberty Counsel Action
Gregory T. Angelo
Log Cabin Republicans
Peter J. Thomas
The Conservative Caucus
National Center for Public Policy Research
William H. Shaker
American Council for Health Care Reform
Eric Novack, MD
US Health Freedom Coalition
Health Benefits Group
Christopher J. Conover
Virginians for Quality Healthcare
Naomi Lopez Bauman
Illinois Policy Action
2012 Republican Nominee for United States Senate
The Weyrich Lunch