Rubio: Time to End Obamacare Bailout for Insurance Companies

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 03:45 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for an end to an Obamacare loophole that provides a bailout for health insurance companies if their costs are driven up by insuring too many sick people.

The "risk corridor" provision, the Republican lawmaker said in a video posted Monday on his YouTube page, "has merit." However, he complained that the government still should not allow private companies to be bailed out with taxpayers' money or to use their political influence for provisions and laws that benefit them.

"Because there are, from time to time, in a competitive insurance marketplace, where one to two companies, out of hundreds, will make a mistake," said Rubio. "Our job is not to keep them in business, but what we don't want to see happen is the bills that are coming in, let's say from a hospital or a doctor, go unpaid because the company doesn't have the money to pay it."

But Obamacare is "guaranteed to fail" because not enough young and healthy people are signing up, said Rubio, and several of the law's deadlines have been delayed.

As a result, the healthcare exchange market is "basically the equivalent to a high-risk pool," or insurance that is guaranteed to lose money, Rubio said.

Story continues below video.

EMBED VIDEO:

Rubio explained in a November editorial piece for The Wall Street Journal that under the new law, the risk corridors were designed in such an open-ended manner that the president's action "now exposes taxpayers to a bailout of the health-insurance industry if and when the law fails."

In Monday's video, Rubio, who has introduced legislation to stop the bailout, says there is growing bipartisan support for his bill.

There is also growing public demand to stop the insurance companies' bailouts, said the senator, who read letters in his video from constituents who want the "risk corridor" program ended.

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