Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) Support Grows for Rubio-Griffin Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) announced today that his bill, H.R. 3541, the House companion bill to Senator Marco Rubio’s S. 1726, the Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, has attracted 52 cosponsors in the House (complete list below).

News coverage and interest in the bill continues to grow, with many conservative columnists, policy experts and grassroots advocacy groups expressing support for the legislation, including:

The Hill: “Republican lawmakers are quietly gathering support for legislation to stop the federal government from cushioning the blow for health insurance companies whose costs rise more than expected under ObamaCare. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) are behind bills to repeal the healthcare law’s ‘risk corridors’ provision. That section creates a temporary pool of money to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients with expensive bills.” (“Bills to stop O-Care payments to insurers gain support,” The Hill, 1/14/14)

Charles Krauthammer: “First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014….Such a bill would be overwhelmingly popular because Americans hate fat-cat bailouts of any kind. Why should their tax dollars be spent not only saving giant insurers but also rescuing this unworkable, unbalanced, unstable, unpopular money-pit of a health-care scheme?” (“Stop the bailout — now,” The Washington Post, 1/2/14)

James C. Capretta and Yuval Levin: “Republicans should hammer the other weak link in the Obamacare chain: the back-door subsidy that promises a massive bailout for insurance companies. Like the mandate, the promise of bailouts is there to persuade insurers to play ball despite the system’s irrationality. Especially troubling is the ‘risk corridor’ provision of the law, under which taxpayers are on the hook for covering large portions of the losses that insurers incur on the Obamacare exchanges…. Republicans should therefore propose either to eliminate entirely the program’s risk-corridor provisions (as a bill introduced by Florida senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas would do) or to make them explicitly budget neutral…” (“Unwinding Obamacare,” The Weekly Standard, 1/27/14)

Philip Klein: “Republicans led by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas have called for repealing what’s known as the risk corridors program, which has also been described as a bailout of the insurance industry….Sensing the heat, insurance industry lobbyists are already gearing up to fight any effort to repeal the program….‘I don’t find it surprising that companies who stand to gain lots of money, whatever that amount is — millions or billions — it doesn’t surprise me that they would indicate a desire to take that money,’ he said.” (“Cost of Obamacare’s insurer bailout program won’t be known until summer 2015,” Washington Examiner, 1/15/14)

Deroy Murdock: “What on Earth could make Obamacare even more odious? How about a multibillion-dollar taxpayer-funded bailout of the medical-insurance industry? Bailout? That’s so 2008–​09. Evidently not. After just two weeks of Obamacare’s full operations, the latest syringe to drop is a potential cash injection to such beloved companies as Kaiser, Cigna, and Humana. That’s right. The same corporations that Obama excoriated last fall as ‘bad-apple insurers’ now stand to collect an eleven-digit payout, thanks to Obama’s signature entitlement….[Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.)] and Representative Tim Griffin (R., Ark.) hope to torpedo this outrage.” (“A $47 Billion Obamacare Bailout? Hell, No!,” National Review, 1/17/14)

 Lanhee Chen: “[Insurers] stand to suffer major financial losses, because Obama’s action incentivizes healthy individuals to stick with ‘grandfathered’ plans that offer fewer benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs, while pushing sick individuals into the mandate-laden health insurance policies being offered on Obamacare’s exchanges. But the Obama administration has already hinted that it will use the risk corridors program to ‘provide additional assistance’ to insurance companies looking for a bailout. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Tim Griffin of Arkansas, both Republicans, are out with legislation…to repeal the risk corridor program — undoubtedly a populist stroke that will win plaudits in many circles.” (“Obamacare’s New Blank Check for Insurers,” Bloomberg, 11/21/14)

Washington Examiner: “Seeing the potential danger of this [risk corridor] program, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in November introduced legislation to repeal it before it puts taxpayers on the hook. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., proposed companion legislation in the House. Industry lobbyists are already gearing up for a fight. Buzzfeed obtained talking points from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association CEO Scott Serota sent to the company’s members, warning that repealing the program ‘jeopardizes the entire private health insurance market and will ultimately lead to a single-payer system.’ But Republicans shouldn’t be cowed by such transparently self-serving industry scare tactics. Pursuing repeal is a win-win for conservatives and for the country.” (“Congress should stop insurer bailout before it starts,” Washington Examiner, 1/16/14)

Thomas Lifson: “Congressional Republicans are acting on a plan…to foreclose the possibility of a massive bailout of the health care insurance industry. Such a bailout now appears very likely, thanks to the fact that older and sicker people constitute a larger-than-planned portion for those signing up for Obamacare, driving up costs to the point that with existing rates, the insurers will suffer massive losses….Put [Democrats] in the position of defending handing taxpayer dollars over to health insurance companies.” (“Putting Dems on the defensive over insurance company bailout,” American Thinker, 1/15/14)

David Freddoso: “[Rep. Griffin’s H.R. 3541 is] a one-page bill that eliminates the ‘risk corridor’ program — a ticking time bomb that could put taxpayers on the hook for part of insurers’ losses in the event of a widespread exchange death spiral. Legislation doesn’t get any simpler than this[.]” (“More votes to repeal Obamacare, please!,” Conservative Intelligence Briefing, 11/20/13)

Allahpundit: “Even assuming that Obama would veto a bailout repeal in the name of protecting his new partners in the [health insurance] industry, there’ll be intense political pressure on Democrats to cross the aisle and vote with the GOP to override it.” (“Blue Cross Blue Shield: If Republicans kill a bailout for insurers under ObamaCare, it’ll lead to single-payer,” Hot Air, 1/10/14)

Matt Kibbe: “[C]ontact your representative today and urge him or her to support H.R. 3541, the ‘ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act’. Sponsored by Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR), this bill would simply eliminate the section of ObamaCare that provides for taxpayer bailouts of health insurance companies.” (“Tell Your Representative to Support the ObamaCare Taxpayer Bailouts Prevention Act, H.R. 3541,” Freedomworks, 1/16/14)

Rep. Griffin introduced H.R. 3541 on November 19, 2013. Members of the House who have agreed to cosponsor the bill include:


–          Rep. Gardner, Cory [R-CO-4] (original cosponsor)

–          Rep. Amash, Justin [R-MI-3]

–          Rep. Bachmann, Michele [R-MN-6]

–          Rep. Bachus, Spencer [R-AL-6]

–          Rep. Bentivolio, Kerry L. [R-MI-11]

–          Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6]

–          Rep. Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN-7]

–          Rep. Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [R-LA-3]

–          Rep. Bridenstine, Jim [R-OK-1]

–          Rep. Broun, Paul C. [R-GA-10]

–          Rep. Carter, John R. [R-TX-31]

–          Rep. Cotton, Tom [R-AR-4]

–          Rep. Crawford, Eric A. “Rick” [R-AR-1]

–          Rep. Culberson, John Abney [R-TX-7]

–          Rep. DeSantis, Ron [R-FL-6]

–          Rep. Duncan, Jeff [R-SC-3]

–          Rep. Duncan, John J., Jr. [R-TN-2]

–          Rep. Fleming, John [R-LA-4]

–          Rep. Franks, Trent [R-AZ-8]

–          Rep. Gosar, Paul A. [R-AZ-4]

–          Rep. Gowdy, Trey [R-SC-4]

–          Rep. Harris, Andy [R-MD-1]

–          Rep. Holding, George [R-NC-13]

–          Rep. Hultgren, Randy [R-IL-14]

–          Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3]

–          Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]

–          Rep. Labrador, Raul R. [R-ID-1]

–          Rep. LaMalfa, Doug [R-CA-1]

–          Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5]

–          Rep. Marino, Tom [R-PA-10]

–          Rep. Massie, Thomas [R-KY-4]

–          Rep. McClintock, Tom [R-CA-4]

–          Rep. McHenry, Patrick T. [R-NC-10]

–          Rep. Meadows, Mark [R-NC-11]

–          Rep. Miller, Jeff [R-FL-1]

–          Rep. Mullin, Markwayne [R-OK-2]

–          Rep. Neugebauer, Randy [R-TX-19]

–          Rep. Pittenger, Robert [R-NC-9]

–          Rep. Radel, Trey [R-FL-19]

–          Rep. Ribble, Reid J. [R-WI-8]

–          Rep. Rice, Tom [R-SC-7]

–          Rep. Rokita, Todd [R-IN-4]

–          Rep. Rothfus, Keith J. [R-PA-12]

–          Rep. Salmon, Matt [R-AZ-5]

–          Rep. Southerland, Steve II [R-FL-2]

–          Rep. Terry, Lee [R-NE-2]

–          Rep. Tiberi, Patrick J. [R-OH-12]

–          Rep. Walberg, Tim [R-MI-7]

–          Rep. Weber, Randy K. Sr. [R-TX-14]

–          Rep. Westmoreland, Lynn A. [R-GA-3]

–          Rep. Womack, Steve [R-AR-3]

–          Rep. Yoho, Ted S. [R-FL-3]