What Did Rubio Hope to Achieve?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

An article in the Washington Post claims that Marco Rubio, via language he smuggled into a spending bill, has "has done more than any [other] Republican to stop Obamacare."

When the Obama administration was crafting Obamacare, it came up with a crony ... solution to entice reluctant insurers to join the exchanges. Many insurers worried that there would not be enough healthy people paying in to cover the costs of sick people. So the administration created a "risk corridor" program to help prop up insurers who lost money in the first three years of the law. Profitable insurers would pay some of those profits into a pool to help insurers who lost money. If the amount insurers lost exceeded what the companies paid in, the government would step in and make up the difference.

Calling this "a taxpayer-funded bailout for insurance companies," Rubio last year quietly inserted language into the omnibus government spending bill that barred the Department of Health and Human Services from dipping into general funds to pay failing insurers. "While the Obama administration can still administer the risk-corridor program, for one year at least, they won't be able to use taxpayer funds to bail out insurance companies," Rubio said.
Rubio has since rightly indicated that the huge funding shortfalls that have emerged prove that the ACA is financially untenable and is fighting to keep this provision in the next omnibus spending bill.

Unfortunately, as I noted months ago, Rubio isn't opposed to the ACA on the principle that central planning violates individual rights. Just as Paul Ryan has stated that he would save (rather than phase out) social security, Rubio would do the same for Medicare and Medicaid, rather than phasing them out.

Rubio is the most likely establishment candidate to win the GOP nomination: Supporters of limited government must weigh any temporary slowing of the growth of the welfare state such short-term measures might afford against the fact that a President Rubio will be mistaken or misrepresented as a "capitalist" during his term. As I indicated before, he will leave the premise that the state should control parts of the economy unchallenged and even lend false credibility to the idea that such can be done in a "sustainable" manner. This would represent a lifeline to the concept of the entitlement state. Qualified support for Marco Rubio would not necessarily reduce a victory over the ACA into a won battle in a lost war, but it does carry that risk.

-- CAV

No comments: