GOP bill hits ObamaCare risk corridors

Republicans are seeking to ensure that no federal dollars go to health insurance companies under ObamaCare's risk corridors, a program the GOP attacks as an industry "bailout."

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioFive takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate Obama plans 'aggressive' blitz for Clinton in campaign's final days One way or another, 2016 was all about Donald Trump's hands MORE (R-Fla.) introduced legislation Wednesday to make risk corridors budget-neutral. A similar bill from Cassidy was included in the federal spending package passed in December, though the requirement would only apply for one year.

The introduction of the latest bill signals Cassidy's hope of becoming a leading voice on healthcare issues in the upper chamber. The former House member, who is also a physician emphasized his opposition to ObamaCare in the 2014 campaign.

“As we continue to work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with solutions that empower patients, not bureaucrats, we need to do what we can to make the current law less onerous on the American people," he said in a statement Wednesday.

"This [bill] is one step to help achieve that goal and protect taxpayers.”

Risk corridors are designed to lessen the possibility of dramatic premium hikes by passing money from insurers that fare better on the marketplaces to those that fare worse. The program is set to expire in 2016.

Rubio, who originated the attack that risk corridors are a "bailout," repeated that the program should not involve taxpayer dollars.

"We should pass a measure like this one to take this option entirely off the table forever," he said in a statement.