- About two dozen conservative groups sent a letter this week to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) requesting the risk corridor program be kept budget-neutral for fiscal year 2016.
- The call is an effort to continue limiting the amount of assistance insurers can obtain from the government to lessen the impact of losses they sustain under the ACA.
- The letter follows a memo circulated by the CMS last week in which the agency reiterated its intent to ultimately pay insurers the full amount they are owed under the risk corridors program, even though this year it only agreed to pay $362 million of the $2.87 billion requested.
At issue is the post-ACA provision that now requires the risk corridors program to remain budget-neutral, so it can't pay out more than insurers pay in. It's not the deal insurers were initially banking on, and it's been widely attributed as the final straw for numerous co-ops that failed this year. As a result, insurers have pushed back--but this coalition is looking to block that path.
"[T]axpayers should not be on the hook for any more of Obamacare’s failures, and so we urge you to ensure that their voices prevail by continuing to include language preventing risk corridors from becoming a taxpayer bailout in any future appropriations bill," the groups wrote.
The letter goes on to ask for the elimination of the related reinsurance program, arguing it further hides the "true costs" of the ACA.