Hot Air exclusive: Rubio warns GOP to stop the return of the ObamaCare bailout

Hot Air is pleased to provide Senator Marco Rubio with an opportunity to speak directly to voters in this guest column.

For too long, under both Democrats and Republicans, Washington and big businesses have teamed up to rig our economy to their benefit, often at the expense of everyday Americans. Perhaps the most outrageous example of this in recent memory is the attempt to force taxpayers to bailout the health insurance companies that have taken a hit under ObamaCare.

As ObamaCare has crashed and burned over the last few years, the big health insurance companies that had originally lobbied in its favor have been suffering major financial losses. Just recently, UnitedHealth—the nation’s largest insurer—has announced that it will likely withdraw from the exchanges entirely. Naturally, Washington’s solution is to send taxpayers the bill for its own mistakes.

In 2013, when few were talking about this issue, I saw that ObamaCare was on a crash course and predicted that bailouts would be the preferred big government solution once the law failed. I instantly began the fight to stop these bailouts by getting rid of ObamaCare’s blank check “risk corridor” provision. Ultimately, against the wishes of the insurance lobby and many politicians in Washington, I passed a measure that blocked the bailout and saved taxpayers $2.5 billion.

Some have called this one of the biggest legislative blows to ObamaCare yet. I’m proud of this important win for taxpayers, but it isn’t enough. The insurance companies are already fighting back. They’ve hired teams of lobbyists – including some of the Washington insiders who originally forced ObamaCare through Congress – and they’re pushing hard for a new bailout.

The former Obama Administration official who led the rollout of ObamaCare’s exchanges and now runs the health insurance lobby is working with her White House allies to secure this new bailout by providing more funding for the law’s risk corridor program. The reason they’re fighting so hard is simple: because ObamaCare is such a disaster that it’s unlikely to survive without another infusion of taxpayer funds.

Of course, it’s hard to feel too sorry for these big insurance companies given that their original support for ObamaCare was so key to its passage. Most importantly, their losses are minor compared to those suffered by the American people. Recently, more than half a million people lost their health insurance thanks to the collapse of ObamaCare-chartered “COOP” plans. Many millions more have seen their premiums rise or have been forced out of the insurance plans they were happy with.

The fact that ObamaCare’s exchanges can only function with a taxpayer-funded bailout is the clearest evidence yet that it must be repealed and replaced. This week, as the Senate considers a bill to repeal much of ObamaCare, I will once again lead the charge to ensure that taxpayers are never forced to bailout health insurance companies.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that our best hope to completely stop ObamaCare is to have a conservative president in the White House. This is one reason I believe the 2016 election to be a generational choice. When it comes to health care, Hillary Clinton has already promised to double down on the same 20th century ideas that led to ObamaCare. My ideas are different. I’ve put forward a plan to give families power over their own health care instead of bureaucrats.

With my work against bailouts, I’m proud to be the only candidate running for president in 2016 with a clear record of success against ObamaCare. In the weeks ahead, I will continue fighting to block an unfair and unaffordable giveaway to private companies. And as president, I will fight to ensure that one day we will remember ObamaCare the way it deserves to be remembered: as a brief and shameful chapter in the history of American health care.

Hot Air will be happy to provide other presidential candidates an open forum for guest essays as well.

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