POLITICS: PennAve

Marco Rubio presses to repeal Obamacare provision allowing insurance industry 'bailout'

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Politics,Obamacare,Marco Rubio,Health Care,Federal Bailouts,David M. Drucker,PennAve,Healthcare.gov

Obamacare includes a provision that allows the federal government to funnel taxpayer dollars to insurers that face the prospect of losing too much money under the new health care law, and conservative critics want to repeal it.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the provision could amount to a bailout of the insurance industry, which stands to lose if the troubled Obamacare exchanges fail to enroll enough people to make the system financially viable. Obamacare enrollment has already been stymied by glitches at the healthcare.gov sign-up site and it could be dampened again under an administrative fix President Obama proposed this week to resolve problems with millions of cancelled policies.

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said the Tea Party-aligned senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate is concerned that the fix Obama proposed would increase the likelihood that insurance companies would need a federal bailout. And the existing law would effectively give Obama a blank check to deal with it, he said.

“We need to protect taxpayers from having to bail out anyone as a consequence of Obamacare," Conant said in an email exchange with the Washington Examiner. "Rubio's bill will fully repeal the 'risk corridor' provision in Obamacare, preventing a bailout."

Rubio's office was circulating the bill, first reported by Politico, to other senators on Friday.

“I expect we'll introduce [it] as soon as possible next week,” Conant said.

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