is challenging Republican leaders in Congress to officially stop taxpayer dollars from being used to bail out Obamacare.
“If we don’t make this happen, then the American people have every right to be angry at the Republican leadership because this should be among our highest highest priorities at the end of this year,” the presidential contender says in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.
For years, Rubio has pressed leaders in his party to repeal the “risk corridor” provisions in Obamacare that would allow the federal government to effectively bail out insurance company losses from participating in the program. Thanks to a policy rider in the 2014 omnibus bill inspired by Rubio, bailout payments from the federal government are currently being choked off.
In 2014, insurers asked for $2.87 billion in government payments from the program, but the Department of Health and Human Services have only collected $362 million for the program. Thanks to the budget rider, they can’t use funds from other areas to fill the funding gap.
Health insurance lobbyists are pressing members of Congress to restore some kind of funding mechanism to soften the blow they are experiencing as a result of participating in the Obamacare exchanges. But Rubio argued that Republicans should take a stand against the idea.
“Why should American taxpayers be bailing out insurance companies, many of whom cooperated with, conspired with alongside the Obama administration to get Obamacare passed?” he asked. “And now they want to come with their lobbyists and basically force the American taxpayer to put money into a fund that bails them out for having lost money on the Obamacare exchanges.”
UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurance company recently announced $425 million in losses and warned that the company might exit the Obamacare health exchanges entirely.
“I think it’s only going to accelerate now, because once these companies can’t get bailed out, many of them are deciding they no longer want to participate in the Obamacare exchange,” Rubio said, referring to the warning from UnitedHealth’s CEO.
The only way Obamacare remained sustainable for many companies, Rubio said, was from promised Obamacare bailouts. He admitted that the ideal scenario for Republicans in Congress would be to repeal Obamacare, but he believed that they should at least block the Obamacare bailouts.
“The American taxpayer should not be bailing out a private industry, should not be bailing out the insurance company,” he said.
Rubio said that the American people were already revolting against their new reality under Obamacare with high co-payments and insurance plans with deductibles as high as $8,000. “I think it’s already beginning,” he said.
He reacted to Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise to defend and improve Obamacare, warning that Democrats would continue to suffer backlash as a result of the program’s empty promises.
“They can continue to defend it, but I think the American voter is going to punish them at the ballot box,” Rubio said. “They are defending a failed program.”