Campaign for Liberty to Congress: NO Lame Duck ObamaCare bailouts!

Campaign for Liberty has signed a letter to Congress requesting they prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to bail out insurance companies who have chosen to participate in ObamaCare. Text of the letter is available  below and here.

Campaign for Liberty continues to work to repeal ObamaCare.

To the House and Senate Republican Leadership:

We the undersigned organizations urge you to clarify language in the upcoming appropriations bill to prevent federal dollars from going to bail out insurance companies participating in Obamacare.  This request is based on new information regarding the risk corridor program created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known as “Obamacare”).

As you know, Obamacare creates government-run exchanges throughout the country through which individuals can purchase health insurance. As part of their effort to encourage insurance companies to participate in the exchanges, Obamacare included a “risk corridor” program (Section 1342 of PPACA). The risk corridor program is intended to collect money from insurers that do especially well in the exchanges and remit that money to insurers that experience losses in the exchanges.

However, unlike similar programs in the past, Congress did not mandate that the new Obamacare risk corridor program be deficit neutral. In other words, it allows for unlimited taxpayer dollars to go to underperforming insurers in excess of any money received from over-performing insurers. This fact has caused some to be concerned that the Obamacare risk corridor program could result in a significant “taxpayer bailout” for participating insurance companies. Federal subsidies to insurance companies also mask the true premium costs for Obamacare for several years, allowing the law to get further entrenched before the public understands the magnitude of the law’s impact on their premiums and deductibles.  The concerns about bailouts have been exacerbated over the years as the exchanges have experienced various difficulties, and as the Obama Administration has unilaterally changed certain rules relating to Obamacare as a whole.

While these facts have been well known since Obamacare’s passage, new information has come to light recently which we believe should cause you to re-examine language in the upcoming appropriations bill. Specifically, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) has confirmed what many have argued, namely that Obamacare did not include funding for risk corridor payments and did not include a mechanism by which the government can automatically transfer revenues from the program to use to pay insurers who experience losses in the exchanges. As such, GAO has said money can only go to insurers through the risk corridor program if Congress proactively appropriates money for that purpose.

While we do not believe it to be Congress’s intent, GAO has interpreted the appropriations language currently in effect in a broad manner which they say allows the government to transfer funds to insurance companies through the risk corridor program. Specifically, GAO believes that generic language included in the appropriations measure currently in effect (P.L. 113-76, as carried forward by P.L. 113-164), which grants a pot of money (not exceeding $3.7 billion) to be spent by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for “other responsibilities,” as well as money “collected from authorized user fees,” can be used for risk corridor payments to insurers.

The GAO report, which was issued on September 30, 2014, constitutes new information that changes the nature of current law to one not intended by its drafters or its supporters when it originally passed. As such, principles of good government would dictate that Congress reevaluate this language during the next consideration of an appropriations measure. We the undersigned organizations urge you to do so in a manner that prevents unlimited taxpayer dollars from going to Obamacare exchange participating insurance companies under the risk corridor program.


Michael A. Needham, CEO
Heritage Action for America
Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform
Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment
Heather Higgins, President
Independent Women’s Voice
Sabrina Schaeffer, Executive Director
Independent Women’s Forum
Chris Chocola, President
Club for Growth
Brent Gardner, Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for Prosperity
Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union
Matt Kibbe, President and CEO
Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots
Albert Quayle
Victory Solutions
Jeffrey Anderson, Executive Director
The 2017 Project
Morton Blackwell, Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
Ken Hoagland, Chairman
Restore America’s Voice
James L. Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
Bob Adams, Founder and President
Revive America
Colin Hanna, President
Let Freedom Ring
Eli Lehrer, President
R Street Institute
Thomas Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director
Log Cabin Republicans
George Landrith, President and CEO
Frontiers of Freedom
Dan Perrin, President
The HSA Coalition
David Wallace
Restore America’s Mission
Norm Singleton, Vice President of Policy
Campaign for Liberty
Greg Scandlen, Senior Fellow
Health Benefits Group
Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty
Ron Robinson, President
Young America’s Foundation
Naomi Lopez Bauman, Director of Health Policy
Illinois Policy Action
Chris Conover, PhD
Beverly Gossage, Director
HSA Benefits Consulting
Amy Kremer
Blitz the Vote
Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research
Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation
Niger Innis, Executive Director
Elaine Donnelly, President
Center for Military Readiness
Hal Sherz, MD, Founder and President
Jim Backlin
Christian Coalition of America
Gary L. Bauer, President
American Values
Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

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