Griffin Introduces Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act

Nov 20, 2013 Issues: Health

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 3541, the House companion bill to Senator Marco Rubio’s S. 1726, the Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act:

“I introduced this bill because Obamacare is not fixable, and bailing out insurance companies to save it from imploding will waste even more taxpayer dollars.  The only real solution is full repeal, so that we can pass real, patient-centered health care reform that won’t bankrupt companies, increase premiums and take away insurance from millions of families and workers.”

Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04), a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is an original cosponsor of H.R. 3541.

“Only in Washington are bailouts seen as a good approach to bad policy,” said Rep. Gardner.  “Obamacare’s dangerous fiscal trajectory must be stopped, and soon.  I am proud to cosponsor legislation that helps guarantee that taxpayers aren’t on the hook as Obamacare continues to unravel.”

Senator Marco Rubio (FL) first introduced the Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act (S.1726) in the Senate.

“American taxpayers are sick and tired of losing in Washington’s ‘winners and losers’ schemes,” said Sen. Rubio.  “With Tim Griffin and Cory Gardner leading the charge in the House, I’m confident we can act decisively to protect the American people from having to foot the bill for an Obamacare bailout.”

Like S. 1726, H.R. 3541 would repeal Obamacare’s risk corridor provision. As Sen. Rubio explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:

Buried deep in the Department of Health and Human Services’ press release that accompanied the president’s Nov. 14 speech [announcing his unilateral action to “fix” his broken promise that Americans could keep their existing plans] was this sentence: “Though this transitional policy was not anticipated by health insurance issuers when setting rates for 2014, the risk corridor program should help ameliorate unanticipated changes in premium revenue. We intend to explore ways to modify the risk corridor program final rules to provide additional assistance.”

Risk corridors are generally used to mitigate an insurer’s pricing risk. Under ObamaCare, risk corridors were established for the law’s first three years as a safety-net for insurers who experience financial losses. While risk corridors can protect taxpayers when they are budget-neutral, ObamaCare’s risk corridors are designed in such an open-ended manner that the president’s action now exposes taxpayers to a bailout of the health-insurance industry if and when the law fails.

View a PDF of H.R. 3541 here.

Groups supporting the legislation include:

-          American Conservative Union

-          Americans for Prosperity

-          Americans for Tax Reform

-          Campaign for Liberty

-          Center for Freedom and Prosperity

-          Club for Growth

-          Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

-          FreedomWorks

-          Heritage Action for America

-          National Taxpayers Union

-          Tea Party Express