Rubio Already Dealt Major Blow To Obamacare

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Republican presidential candidate Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] has already taken major steps toward dismantling Obamacare.

The Florida Republican managed to tack on a policy rider to the 2014 Cromnibus spending bill preventing the risk corridor program from bailing out insurance companies losing money under the administration’s landmark health-care legislation, and is hoping to do it again.

The provision of the Affordable Care Act is designed as a safety net to provide money to insurers experiencing shortfalls, but Rubio says he wants to ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for Obamacare’s failures. The Department of Health and Human Services says insurance companies requested $2.87 billion to make up for losses, but will only be issued $362 million for 2014.

The senator’s move already won him some endorsements for his presidential run.

“He saved us money on Obamacare where others have simply wanted to repeal it,” California Republican Rep. [crscore]Darrell Issa[/crscore] told “Fox and Friends” in November. “He has already saved $2.5 billion by eliminating an unreasonable backstop by the taxpayers for a failed program. He’s been fighting for a lot of things I believe in.”

It’s no secret insurance companies have taken a hit following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

More than half of the Obamacare co-ops, designed to increase competition in the marketplace, have failed since they kicked off in 2011 and even the more established groups have seen their profits take a turn for the worse.

UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest insurance providers, has also threatened to pull out of the Obamacare exchanges after sustaining sizable losses.

In a letter written to top members of the Senate in late-November, Rubio calls on members to extend the restrictions, possibly permanently, by adding them to the must-pass omnibus legislation.

“If the only way Obamacare can continue is for taxpayers to bail out health insurers that lose money because of it, that’s as good an indication as any that the whole law should be repealed and replaced,” the presidential hopeful wrote. “It is our responsibility to completely shield the U.S. taxpayer from a deal in the Omnibus that might reimburse health insurers retroactively for these losses or any other future losses.”

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