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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, February 10, 2014

No blank-check bailouts for big insurance -- By Dean Clancy, The Washington Times

Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times (Illustration by Greg Groesch, The Washington Times)

Obamacare is starting to resemble corporate welfare 

At the heart of Obamacare is a corrupt bargain between big government and big insurance: The government gets to control the health care of 310 million Americans, while health insurance companies get tens of billions of dollars in annual income, all guaranteed thanks to the law's individual mandate.

What if this "sweet" deal turns sour, though?

Let's say that young people do the math and opt to pay the modest annual fine, rather than buy overpriced health insurance on the local exchange. The exchanges would fail, premiums would rise, and participating insurers would suffer financial losses.

Big insurance would have the option to either renege on the deal (which would be good) or demand a taxpayer bailout (which would be bad). What's worse, that bailout could run into the tens of billions of dollars.

Does this "too big to fail" health care scenario sound too bad to be true? Guess what: It's already baked in the deal.

That's right, a bailout is automatic under a little-known provision of the "Affordable" Care Act, Section 1342, which provides for annual, unlimited "risk corridor" payments to participating insurers to ease the law's effects on them — to and mask its true costs from voters.

These payments have no policy justification, except to put taxpayers on the hook for losses incurred by private corporations. Section 1342 is a built-in, blank-check bailout of the insurance companies. It encourages them to gamble with our money.

Insurance companies have a right to make an honest living. They do not have a right to shift their financial losses onto the American taxpayer. In a free market, companies rightly keep the rewards of their own good choices — and bear the costs of their own poor choices.

The Obamacare bailout is corporate welfare, something we should all oppose regardless of our private opinion on Obamacare. Opposing the bailout is common sense.

It transcends traditional "left versus right" politics. Happily, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas, both Republicans, have introduced the Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, a one-sentence bill to repeal Section 1342.

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