Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hey Senator Rubio, Give Credit Where It's Due

Obamacare supporters need to stop giving Marco Rubio credit for the splinter he wedged into Obamacare's fingertip. The splinter is the language Rubio inserted into the 2014 CRomnibus that made Obamacare risk corridor payments budget neutral.

When Obamacare passed, the risk corridor provision - which is a temporary program - was written with very vague language. The program existed but didn't specify where funding was coming from. Theoretically it was going to come from a combination of the profitable insurers and the federal government sending payments to insurers who suffered losses.

Because there was a chance of government funding, the GOP called out risk corridors as a bailout for insurers. To combat the political gamesmanship, the Obama Administration pushed a narrative that the program would pay for itself and pointed to an April 2014 CBO document stating the budget neutrality position.

Based on the CBO numbers, Senator Rubio's risk corridor language shouldn't have been an issue. But like many CBO reports, the actual results are a far cry from their rosy projections. In 2014, risk corridors paid out roughly 13% of what they were supposed to. CMS just released preliminary data for 2015 and have made it clear that they will have another shortfall this year. All of this is resulting in pundits and politicians calling the GOP the devil or heroes.

Unfortunately they've got it all wrong. Marco Rubio inserting language into a budget amendment didn't make the legislation pass. That would come from all of the brains in DC who vote on the bills. It also comes from a Presidential signature making the bill become a law.

In CRomnibus, its not about what Rubio did. It's about the bipartisan approval (57 Democrats in the house and 25 Democrats in the senate) that voted in favor of the bill. And let's not forget President Obama who signed it into law.

These are the elected officials who put risk corridors in jeopardy. They are the ones who should be given credit.

Sorry Marco.
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