GOP Senators Introduce Bill To Crush Obamacare Bailouts

Juliegrace Brufke | Capitol Hill Reporter

A group of GOP senators introduced legislation Friday to prevent the Obama administration from bailing out insurance companies that have suffered substantial losses due to Obamacare.

The HHS Slush Fund Elimination Act — spearheaded by Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Marco Rubio of Florida, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Mike Lee of Utah –would stop the Department of Health and Human Services from doling out federal funds through the risk-corridor program.

The risk-corridor program was designed to provide funds to limit insurers’ increased costs brought on by the high claims costs seen since Obamacare was implemented. But the number of claims turned out to be much higher than initially anticipated — creating an unforeseen problem for the agency.

The senators argued taxpayers should not be left on the hook for the failures of the president’s landmark health care legislation. While Congressional Republicans plan to do away with Obamacare when President-elect Donald Trump takes office, they fear the administration will try and make the payments without Congressional approval.

“We are going to repeal and replace Obamacare but, in the meantime, the last thing Americans need is for the Obama Administration to sneak in one last bailout on its way out the door,” Sasse said in a statement. “This is simple: the law is the law and no administration can make up new rules when they don’t like the laws.”

Lee echoed Sasse’s sentiments, saying their bill will help keep Americans from reaping the consequences of the government’s mistakes.

“The Obama administration has unilaterally re-written the Affordable Care Act numerous times in an attempt to save it from collapsing on itself,” he said in a statement. “Recently, the administration also tried to circumvent the will of Congress by engaging in fiscal hijinks in an attempt to bail out insurers who have lost money thanks to Obamacare.”

Over the course of the past year, a number of health insurance companies have sued the administration for failing to make good on their promise to reimburse them for their losses.

Rep. Morgan Griffith introduced similar legislation in the House Thursday.

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Tags : ben sasse john barrasso marco rubio mike lee obamacare
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