More Lawlessness on Obamacare
7:05 AM, May 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
These actions that the administration said it wouldn’t undertake, didn’t have the authority to undertake, and now has undertaken, have also strained the alliance between big government and big insurers that’s at the heart of Obamcare. But as Jay Cost and I note in this week’s issue, Obama got around that as well — at taxpayer expense. To placate his insurance allies, Obama rewrote the rules for Obamacare’s reinsurance and risk-corridor programs, and the Congressional Budget Office says his tweak to risk corridors saved insurance companies $8 billion. To put that $8 billion into perspective, it’s as much as the nation’s 10 largest health insurers made in combined profits the year before Obama took office.
(To keep Obama from continuing to use the risk-corridor program as his personal slush fund — and from using that slush fund to bankroll his lawlessness — Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Leonard Lance have each proposed 1-page bills, which simply state that the risk-corridor program cannot be used to transfer money from taxpayers to insurance companies.)
It is time for Congress to do more to call Obama out on his lawlessness. But it’s also time to wipe the slate clean. It’s time for Obamacare opponents to win the Senate, pass a well-conceived conservative alternative, and send it to Obama. Under such an alternative, health costs would drop, liberty would be secured, and anyone who wants to buy health insurance would be able to do so. After Obama vetoes that effort at real reform, it will set up a clear choice for the citizenry: Do we want a subsequent president who will continue to do everything possible — both within and without the law — to prop up Obamacare’s failed 2,700 pages of federal largess, or one who will sign legislation that simultaneously repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a well-conceived conservative alternative? Polling indicates Americans overwhelmingly support the latter course of action.
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.
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