Rubio raises concerns about insurance company bailouts in Obamacare

Sen. Rubio

Sen. Rubio in Feb., 2013 (Snip: Senate website)

Most Americans are only now learning about the nuts and bolts of the Obamacare/PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act]. Legacy media failed to fully inform the public, and political debate often focused on generalities rather than specifics although some congressmen and alt-media did try to warn the public.

Now Sen. Marco Rubio and others in Congress are attempting to warn Americans about a built-in bailout that will most definitely affect taxpayers in the future, a bailout for insurance companies.

Rubio told Fox News on Wednesday that Obamacare is “destined to hurt people.” 

The details are complicated, as Bloomberg Businessweek noted. In remarks to a pundit on Tuesday night, Rubio summed up the way the bill works: “It says that any shortfalls that may happen as a result of the law, that they’re going to come in and make up for it. According to the rules, the way they have written it, it could be any amount.”

Businessweek explained the intricacies [boldface added]:

“Here’s how the Three Rs work. Reinsurance pays insurance companies much of the cost after a patient’s medical costs exceed $60,000 per year, drawing on a $10 billion pot of money for next year funded by a $63 tax on every single health plan. The program collects even from large, employer-sponsored coverage but only makes payments to help individual and small-group plans. ‘It’s really transferring money from the group market to the individual market,’ says Hans Leida, an actuary at consulting firm Milliman. The temporary program is meant to keep rates down, which means they’ll go up as it phases out over the next three years.”

Any American who pays for a health plan directly or indirectly will pay the $63 tax.

Fiscal conservatives and libertarians have expressed ongoing concerns about uncertain costs in the PPACA/Obamacare, a bill technically classified as a tax bill. The Congressional Budget Office also found in 2010 that total costs were impossible to project.

While progressive socialists tout the healthcare bill, and the quasi-socialist Medicare program is popular despite rising costs, that program was also grossly underestimated. For one thing, the government estimates (conservatively, no  doubt), that $1 of every $7 Medicare pays out is fraud. That’s not the only problem. Social programs, regardless of the party supporting them, have more often than not gone far beyond original costs.

Doug Bandow at Cato, the libertarian think tank, wrote about skewed estimates for other social programs:

“In fact, every federal social program has cost far more than originally predicted. For instance, in 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that Medicare would cost $12 billion in 1990, a staggering $95 billion underestimate. Medicare first exceeded $12 billion in 1975.

 In 1965, federal actuaries figured that the Medicare hospital program would end up running $9 billion in 1990. The cost was more than $66 billion.

In 1987, Congress estimated that the Medicaid Special Hospitals Subsidy would hit $100 million in 1992. The actual bill came to $11 billion. The initial costs of Medicare’s kidney dialysis program, passed in 1972, were more than twice projected levels.

Rubio and some other senators have introduced a bill to prevent insurance company bailouts in PPACA/Obamacare.

Speaking about ongoing issues with Obamacare, Rubio said, “Give it 8 weeks…Up until this point, Obamacare was a theory.”

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Nov. 20, 2013)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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