Health Care

Conservative groups warn against ObamaCare ‘bailout’ in spending bill

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A coalition of 15 conservative groups wrote to Congress on Monday to urge against including a “bailout” of ObamaCare in the coming government funding bill.

The groups are putting pressure on lawmakers amid bipartisan negotiations on providing payments to health insurance companies with the goal of stabilizing markets and lowering premiums. But the conservative groups see those payments as a bailout for the health-care law.

“Lawmakers should fulfill their longstanding promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare, not setting the dangerous precedent of bailing it out,” writes the coalition, which include Heritage Action, Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity.

“We the undersigned organizations, urge all members of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare and to reject taxpayer bailouts for Obamacare and private health insurance companies, particularly in upcoming government spending bills,” the letter adds.

{mosads}Congress must fund the government by March 23 to avoid a shutdown, a measure that could be a vehicle for the ObamaCare payments.

Some more moderate Republicans support the idea of providing the ObamaCare payments, with the goal of lowering premiums.

But conservatives have long opposed the idea.

The two kinds of payments in question are cost-sharing reductions, which reimburse insurers for discounts to low-income enrollees, and reinsurance, which helps cover the cost of especially sick enrollees.

The groups reject the argument that the payments would only be for a year or two.

“The same insurers who are lobbying for bailout money this year will be back again when funding expires, threatening to withdraw from the exchanges or raise premiums if bailouts aren’t extended,” the groups write.


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