One of the reasons that I have been more in favor of candidates like Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina is that I look for candidates who have actually done something, as opposed to those who say that they are going to get something done, if only they are given the opportunity. Senators and Representatives seem to get such opportunities much less frequently, but one Senator running for President actually did get something important done.
By Sarah Ferris – 11/24/15 06:12 PM EST
Sen. Marco Rubio may have dealt the biggest blow in the GOP’s five-year war against ObamaCare.
A 2014 budget measure inspired by the Florida senator and presidential hopeful is pushing some insurers to drop out of the ObamaCare exchanges, experts say.
“I think this is one of the most effective things they’ve done so far in terms of trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act,” Tim Jost, a healthcare law professor at Washington and Lee University, said of Republicans in Congress.
This fall, more than a dozen health insurers representing 800,000 people have dropped out of the ObamaCare exchanges, many out of fear that the administration no longer has the cash to cushion their losses in the costly early years of the marketplace.
The nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealthCare, specifically mentioned the specter of a funding shortfall last week when it threatened to end its participation in the exchanges after 2016.
The angst in the industry centers on an obscure program in the healthcare law known as “risk corridors” that was designed to shield insurers against losses.
Rubio in 2013 went on the warpath against the program, decrying it as a “taxpayer bailout.” He penned op-eds against it, testified about it as the star witness at a House Oversight Committee hearing and even made his case to top House Republicans like then-Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ] (R-Ohio).
“There is a problem with the way [ObamaCare] exchanges are now designed that have not yet received the attention they deserve, but I promise you’re going to be hearing a lot about it in the days to come,” Rubio said in a Senate floor speech in early 2014.
While Rubio’s attempt to scrap risk corridors altogether was unsuccessful, his push contributed to a policy rider that was inserted into a 1,603-page spending bill passed at the end of 2014.
Under the provision, which is still in effect, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could no longer tap other accounts — like its overall appropriations or its Medicare funding — to fund the risk corridors program.
There’s more at the link, but the legislation that [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] started is having the largest impact on causing the Affordable Care Act to collapse. We’ve said it many times before: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was never meant to actually work; it was simply meant to pass, to establish the principle that the federal government is ultimately responsible for the individual’s health care. Then, when the ACA system did collapse, the left would simply say, “See? We tried to do things the ‘conservative’ way, using the existing private insurance system, and it didn’t work, so all that is left is single-payer.”
That would, of course, be devastating, as long as the Democrats controlled the Congress and the White House. But the Republicans control both Houses of Congress, and if they haven’t been able to repeal Obaminablecare, they will certainly never approve a single-payer system to replace it. And while it is possible that a Democrat could win the presidential election next year, and the Democrats could retake the Senate, the House is as locked into Republican control as solidly as it can be, at least through the 2020 elections, and very probably well beyond that; the Democrats’ primary voter support has concentrated too heavily in larger cities, and therefore in a fewer number of congressional districts. It is improbable that the redistricting following the 2020 census will change the Republican advantage very much.
Thus, while it is possible that the Republicans could never actually repeal the ACA, it is going to collapse eventually anyway, unless major changes are made to it, and the Republicans are in no mood to help it survive. [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]’s leadership on this has done the most to accelerate that collapse.