The Obama Health Insurer Bailout Just Got Bigger

Posted: Nov 27, 2013 12:00 PM

Last month, we reported on how President Obama's failed health care law included a provision that could bailout insurers who sell policies through the Obamacare exchanges, if too few young and healthy people sign up for Obamacare.

To recap, a "risk corridor" provision in Obamacare allows the federal government to give health insurers a tax payer bailout if the cost of providing care for those insured through Obamacare is higher than insurers originally estimated when they first set premium prices.

Originally, federal regulations allowed insurers access to taxpayer bailout funds only after they spent at least $60,000 on an individual.

On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services introduced new regulations lowering that limit to $45,000. This will transfer billions more dollars from tax payers to insurance companies. This is automatic, entitlement, mandatory spending. It is not discretionary. Congress has no power to stop this bailout through the appropriations process.

The Congressional Budget Office never considered the possibility that health insurance companies would need a bailout when they scored Obamacare before it became law. If this bailout proceeds, Obamacare will add billions to the deficit.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced legislation to repeal this health insurance company bailout. But it is highly unlikely Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), would ever a plow a vote on it.

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