Revealed: How a taxpayer bail out that could run into BILLIONS was built in to Obamacare to protect insurance companies if they lost out in reform
The Affordable Care Act included a way for insurance companies to recoup their losses from covering everyone regardless of their health
If insurers lose money, the government's funds – taxpayer dollars – cover between 50 and 80 percent of the losses for three years
Premiums for 2015 are expected to skyrocket before the November elections, and Democrats hope the payments will keep prices down
When the Obamacare law passed in 2010, it omitted the authority for the government to make these 'risk corridors' payments
But in a bit fo regulatory sleight-of-hand last week, the Health and Human Services Department quietly issued a regulation authorizing them
By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor
Published: 12:17 EST, 21 May 2014 | Updated: 12:53 EST, 21 May 2014
Health insurance companies are poised to have access to billions of taxpayer dollars in what Republicans are calling an Obamacare 'bailout.'
In a little-noticed regulation issued late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services authorized massive payments to insurers that lose money because of the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they cover even the oldest and sickest Americans.
A provision of the Obamacare law known as 'risk corridors' provides the safety valve for insurance companies if they keep rate hikes modest but still wind up in the red.
According to that system, insurers whose claims in 2014 are 3 per cent higher than what was projected will recover half of the different from the government.
If claims are 8 per cent or more above projections, taxpayers cover 80 per cent of the company's losses.