Taxpayers stuck with huge tab for big insurers’ Obamacare losses

Many insurance companies are losing money selling Obamacare policies. Unfortunately, the White House wants to make their losses your problem.

In December, Congress refused an administration request to provide insurers with $2.5 billion in bailout money to help cover their 2014 losses.

The Obama administration hasn’t given up. It has declared that this $2.5 billion in corporate welfare and potentially billions more for losses insurers have incurred in 2015 is “an obligation of the U.S. government for which full payment is required.”

Insurers would receive a windfall if the White House finds a way to use your tax dollars to meet this “obligation.”

For instance: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas would pocket $257 million, which would bring its corporate welfare haul for 2014 to $843 million. Other losers made whole include such giants as Humana ($213 million), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois ($172 million) and Coventry ($101 million).

At issue is a corporate welfare payment called “risk corridors.” Under this Obamacare provision, insurers whose profits exceed expectations must subsidize their competitors whose margins disappoint.

In theory, the federal government’s only role is to transfer the “excess” profits of successful insurers to companies that suffered “excess” losses. Properly enforced, it should not cost taxpayers a dime.

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About the author

Doug Badger

Galen Institute Senior Fellow Doug Badger’s career in public policy spans more than three decades and includes stints as a policy adviser to the White House, the U.S. Senate, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration…. Full Biography