Cochran to Obama: Stop O-Care insurance bailouts

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said Thursday that President Obama should not have the sole discretion to determine when to extend taxpayer-funded bailouts to health insurance companies that lose money because of ObamaCare.

“The health insurance industry may find itself in a bind because of the Affordable Care Act. But the Obama administration should not have a free hand to give them taxpayer-funded bailouts,” Cochran said.

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Cochran is a co-sponsor of the ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, which would repeal a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows for payments to health insurance companies at the administration’s discretion. S. 1726 would require the administration to get congressional approval to offset insurance industry loses.

Cochran, who has called for a full repeal of the law, said the provision proves how “ill-conceived” the law is.

“Beyond the cost of these bailouts, these payments would likely end up being one more smokescreen to hide just how harmful and costly this ill-conceived law is turning out to be,” Cochran said. 

The healthcare law includes a safety net for insurance companies that could initially see increased enrollment of high-risk consumers. The high costs of covering riskier patients are expected to be offset once more young people also have to purchase health insurance or face a fine.

In November, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced S. 1726, which is co-sponsored by GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John Hoeven (N.D.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Lee (Utah), John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Roberts (Kan.) and David Vitter (La.).

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