A "dirty little secret" hidden in President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law is the authority granted the government to bail out failing insurance companies, Sen. Marco Rubio warns.
In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal,
the Florida Republican said Congress should eliminate the possibility of a bailout, saying he'll introduce legislation Tuesday to eliminate a so-called risk corridor provision in Obamacare.
"When Obamacare was debated and passed in 2009 and 2010, none of its proponents, including the president, told the American people that the law granted the federal government the authority to bail out insurance companies at the expense of taxpayers," he wrote. "But now their dirty little secret is out, and it should be wiped out from the law."
Rubio said "buried" in the Department of Health and Human Services' press release accompanying Obama's speech last week was a "bailout rescue valve."
"It is a damning indictment of Obamacare's viability when the president's only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies," he said.
Rubio explained that under the new law, "risk corridors" were established for the first three years as a safety net for insurers who experience financial losses.
But he wrote that Obamacare's risk corridors are designed in such an open-ended manner the president's action "now exposes taxpayers to a bailout of the health-insurance industry if and when the law fails."
"The American people are already being directly hurt by Obamacare's early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge," he wrote.
"Americans are sick and tired of Washington politicians picking winners and losers — and nowhere is this practice more grotesquely evident than taxpayer-funded bailouts, which assault the economic values of our free-enterprise system in favor of those who are politically connected and whose lobbyists know the right people to call and levers to pull.
"Obamacare is a living monument to this culture, and no one loses more than the average American."
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