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Rubio: GAO Makes Clear ObamaCare Bailouts Can’t Occur Without Congressional Approval

Sep 30, 2014 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the lead sponsor of The ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act and The ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Protection Act, today commented on the legal opinion just released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding taxpayer-funded bailouts of health insurance companies under ObamaCare.

According to the GAO, the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) cannot unilaterally make payments to health insurance companies under ObamaCare’s risk corridor program in 2015 and beyond. On the contrary, HHS must seek and attain appropriations authority.

“As many of us predicted, Obamacare is a failure that forces the American people to not only buy health insurance, but also forces the American taxpayer to bail out insurance companies that incur a loss under the Obamacare exchanges,” said Rubio. “The fact that we have to bail out ObamaCare in the first place tells us the law is a failure.

“We should not be bailing out a failure,” Rubio added. “Given the Obama Administration’s history of taking executive action to re-write Obamacare and ignoring the legislative process, Congress needs to make sure taxpayers don’t end up paying for an ObamaCare bailout in 2015 or ever.”

Additional Background

The federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on December 11, 2014. Today’s GAO legal opinion also says that HHS can only make payments to health insurers for FY2014. This means that since the risk corridor payments won’t be made until 2015, HHS does not have the authority to provide for a taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurance companies unless Congress extends appropriations language into the next CR, allowing for HHS to lawfully make payments in 2015.