GOP unveils bill to block ObamaCare 'bailout'

GOP unveils bill to block ObamaCare 'bailout'
 
A group of Republican lawmakers on Friday unveiled a bill to block the Obama administration from making certain payments to ObamaCare insurers that the GOP calls a “bailout.”
 
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The measure from four Republican senators would prevent the administration from using an obscure fund to pay legal settlements to insurers that have sued over a shortfall in payments under an ObamaCare program called risk corridors. 
 
The lawmakers are worried that on its way out the door, the administration will seek to shore up the finances of ObamaCare insurers by paying them the legal settlements. 
 
The issue has declined some in prominence since President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE’s victory, raising the prospect that ObamaCare could be repealed altogether. But the lawmakers say that even if the law is on the way out, they do not want payments made to insurers in the meantime. 
 
"We are going to repeal and replace Obamacare but, in the meantime, the last thing Americans need is for the Obama Administration to sneak in one last bailout on its way out the door,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a statement. 
 
The other sponsors are Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Venezuela puts spotlight on Rubio MORE (R-Fla.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Senators highlight threat from invasive species MORE (R-Wyo.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support MORE (R-Utah). Rep. Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithHouse passes bill expressing support for NATO Virginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee MORE (R-Va.) introduced a version in the House. 
 
At issue is ObamaCare’s risk corridor program, which seeks to shift money among insurers to protect them from heavy losses in the early years of the health law. Not enough money came into the program, leaving a hole in insurer finances and contributing to premium hikes and some insurers dropping out of the marketplace altogether. Some insurers then sued for the rest of the money. 
 
The new bill would block the administration from being able to get them at least some money through legal settlements. 
 
It remains unclear whether the administration will even try to settle before it leaves office. 
 
There had been some talk of attaching language in this bill to the year-end spending measure, but it is unclear whether that will happen. Republicans are now planning a stop-gap bill into early next year, not a bill for the full year.