Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and his merry band of mischief makers are laying the groundwork for yet another government shutdown in their efforts to derail Obamacare.
Fourteen of Boehner’s GOP cohorts composed a letter to the House Speaker Wednesday to pinpoint an obscure provision in the Affordable Care Act which would possibly necessitate additional appropriation from the government within the next fiscal year. Leader of the pack was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), has targeted the risk corridor program, intended to temporarily control insurance premiums while Obamacare establishes itself. Under this measure, the federal government will reimburse insurers which under-estimated how much they’d have to pay out in claims a portion of the profits from insurers who set premiums too high by overestimating their costs. The purpose of the provision is to stabilize the health care market and keep premiums proportionate.
In their whine-fest, the group, including political heavyweights John McCain (R-AZ) and Paul Rand (R-KY), protested “the spending of unappropriated and unauthorized funds.”
“The risk corridor program was not designed to be budget neutral and the program, at least as being contemplated by the Administration, puts taxpayers at risk of a large bailout if insurers systematically lose money or exchange plans.”
They went on to state it was their sacred duty to dismantle the program.
“The American people expect us, as Members of Congress, to fulfill our Oath of Office and defend the Constitution. Therefore, we must act to protect Congress’ power of the purse and prohibit the Obama administration from dispersing unlawful risk corridor payments providing for an Obamacare taxpayer bailout.”
The senators did not elaborate as to how the House Speaker would accomplish this, but Roll Call speculates the House could “add an explicit prohibition on risk-corridor spending in the next spending bill.” during the lame-duck session after November elections. Such an action would probably be opposed by the Administration, which could lead to another shutdown. A Boehner spokesperson declined to comment when asked if this was a possibility.
Last year’s government shutdown in an effort to defund Obamacare, which Boehner labeled a “predictable disaster,” was still preferable to providing Americans with healthcare, according to Fox News pundit Erick Erickson. The delays caused by the shutdown prompted Boehner to file a lawsuit against President Obama for not implementing his healthcare program fast enough. The price tag to American taxpayers for that practical joke was $500 an hour in attorney fees.
I feel that was “the spending of unappropriated and unauthorized funds.”