During the debate leading up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama called on his Republican opponents to help him in the process of reforming America's healthcare system by sharing with him their ideas on how to make the system better. For the most part, opponents of the President have been mum on what they think should be done to reform the current system, and perhaps how to make the ACA, also known as ObamaCare, more effective.
At least one Republican Senator, however, has become an outspoken opponent of the current wording of the act, and has made it a personal crusade to try and fix the law from within. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) testified at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing entitled, “ObamaCare: Why the Need for an Insurance Company Bailout?” The hearing was convened by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and featured testimony from several health policy experts.
The hearing focused on provisions of ObamaCare that are increasing premiums for consumers outside of the exchanges and putting taxpayers at risk for an uncapped bailout of insurance companies participating in ObamaCare over the next three years. Rubio is the sponsor of S.1726, The ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, a bill that would repeal the risk corridor provision.
“The growing likelihood of a taxpayer-funded bailout is just another sign that this health care law is flawed and needs to be replaced,” Rubio said. “Taxpayer money should not be given to health insurance companies when ObamaCare’s failures hurt their bottom line.”
Rubio, who began his remarks to the committee by admitting to be a frequent and loyal watcher of CSPAN, focused most of his prepared remarks on his opposition to Section 1342 of ObamaCare, which specifically deals with risk corridors. Rubio has recently introduced legislation, in partnership with Representative Tim Griffin of Arkansas, to repeal that section of the law.
“A risk corridor is basically a program whereby insurers are told, ‘If you participate in this insurance marketplace and you miscalculate the amount of money that it’s going to cost to you insure these people, we will come in and make up for the difference.’ That’s a valid concept in a healthy insurance marketplace. The problem with ObamaCare is it is not a regular insurance marketplace. In fact, it’s not an insurance marketplace at all. It’s a high risk pool where these companies are now guaranteed to lose money because not enough young, healthy people are signing up. And the result is the taxpayers, the people watching this program, are going to see their tax dollars going to private insurance companies to bail them out for their losses.”
It will be interesting to see how the healthcare debate affects the upcoming mid-term elections, and whether the national health insurance program actually benefits the country, or simply leaves us wondering where all the money went, and why doctor's visits are so expensive!
"I respect the fact that there are still some who hold out hope that ObamaCare will work, just like there were some in Denver this Sunday still holding out hope that the Broncos could come back and win in the fourth quarter," Rubio continued. "But no matter how you may feel about the law, we should all be able to agree that the American people should not have to pay for another taxpayer-funded bailout. Refusing to take that possibility off the table is like basically telling the American people that some are so devoted to protecting ObamaCare, that they do not care how much it costs taxpayers."
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