Sep 15, 2016

Freedom Partners Launches Effort to Bust the Obamacare Bailouts

Post by Geoff Holtzman

Arlington, VA — Freedom Partners announced today a new campaign to head off administration and insurance company-led efforts to bail out Obamacare by sending billions of more tax dollars to insurers.

The launch of BustTheBailouts.com will provide taxpayers and lawmakers information about how insurance companies are lobbying for another bailout, and what Congress should do to prevent that from happening.

In conjunction with the new site, Freedom Partners is releasing a new memo that details the current effort by the administration to renew and fund with taxpayer dollars two expiring bailout programs designed to protect insurance companies from major losses during the early stages of Obamacare. These programs were included in the Affordable Care Act to gain insurance company support for the law, and are scheduled to expire at the end of 2016.

The site also features a 2017 health premium rate tracker, and a petition urging Congress to oppose the bailouts.

Freedom Partners Senior Policy Adviser Nathan Nascimento issued the following statement:

“Lawmakers should resist pressure to bail out Obamacare and the big insurance companies that supported its passage when they thought it would be a good deal for themselves. Congress must instead proactively stop attempts by the administration to hand over taxpayer dollars to save this failing law, and fight to recoup the billions in Obamacare funds that are legally required to go to the U.S. Treasury. Obamacare was built on broken promises and special backroom deals, it’s failing, and the American taxpayers have suffered enough.”

Freedom Partners is urging Congress to resist pressure to pour billions more into these failed bailout programs, which would do nothing to address the fundamental flaws of the law itself. 

During the coming weeks, Freedom Partners will launch a series of educational efforts on the potential bailouts, including digital videos and meetings with members of Congress to explain what they can do to protect taxpayers.

BACKGROUND

In recent months, major insurers have ramped up lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers to steer billions of dollars to insurers under Obamacare’s Transitional Reinsurance Program. To date, the administration has used the program to put insurers ahead of taxpayers by failing to deposit $5 billion into the U.S. Treasury as required under the ACA.

And just last Friday, the administration quietly announced that it will seek to bail out insurance companies that lost money on the Obamacare exchanges by asking Congress to appropriate new spending if Obamacare’s Risk Corridor Program fails to generate enough revenue this year.

Both programs are required to expire at the end of this year. However, due to the severe instability of the market caused by Obamacare, insurers, a large percentage of which have cited the sun-setting of the programs as factors for why they’ll be raising premium rates next year, have launched a campaign to extend the programs.

As the new memo points out, “the problem with Obamacare remains the law itself, not the expiration of these two programs.”

“Elected officials who are serious about delivering real health care solutions for Americans and their opposition to Obamacare should reject the calls by special interests for a taxpayer-funded bailout of Obamacare,” the memo states.

The memo calls on Congress to take the following steps:

  1. Allow the Transitional Reinsurance and Risk Corridors programs to sunset at the end of this year, as planned.
  1. Recoup all taxpayer dollars unlawfully given to insurers under the Transitional Reinsurance Program by withholding any future payments to the reinsurance program and through passage of the Taxpayers Before Insurers Act (S 2803/HR 5904).
  1. Reject all efforts by the administration and ACA supporters to use taxpayer dollars to bail out health insurers.
  1. Prevent the establishment of any new programs that will continue to prop up this failing law and enrich special interests.

To learn more, please visit BustTheBailouts.com