Published January 25, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Today, on Capitol Hill, Marco Rubio slamming what he calls an ObamaCare bailout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: I respect the fact that there are some who still hold out hope that ObamaCare will work, just like there were some in Denver this Sunday still holding out hope that the Broncos could come back and win in the fourth quarter.
But no matter how you may feel about the law, we should all be able to agree that the American people should not have to pay for another taxpayer- funded bailout.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Rubio is taking action to stop that, quote, "bailout." He joins us. Nice to see you, Senator.
RUBIO: Nice to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, what we're talking about here in your bill is Section 1342 of ObamaCare, which is this Risk Corridor. Explain what a Risk Corridor is for the viewers.
RUBIO: A Risk Corridor is a program whereby insurers are told, if you participate in this insurance marketplace and you miscalculate the amount of money that it's going to cost you insure these people, we will come in and make up for the difference. That's a valid concept in a healthy insurance marketplace. The problem with ObamaCare is it is not a regular insurance marketplace. In fact, it's not an insurance marketplace at all. It's a high-risk pool where these companies are guaranteed to lose money because not enough young healthy people are signing up. The result is that the taxpayers, the people watching this program, are going to see their tax dollars going to private insurance companies to bail them out for their losses.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. To put it another way, I always think of insurance companies like gambling. And it's like an insurance company going to Vegas and they say that if you lose over $100 we will make the back end so you don't have to pay more than the $100 dollars lost. Is that sort of the idea of the Risk Corridor? It limits the amount of your loss?
RUBIO: It is, because what happens is -- but it limits the amount of your loss for companies that miscalculate. In a regular normal healthy insurance marketplace, most companies are not going to do that. You are just going to have a handful of anomalies that, in any given year had something happen, and they lost a lot of money. This reinsures against that risk. The problem with ObamaCare -- it's not one or two companies -- it's going to be virtually every company in the exchanges losing money.
VAN SUSTEREN: I guess when you say the anomaly versus the non-anomaly that you are making the comparison to Medicare Part D, which also has that risk pool, and which many Republicans supported because they thought that was a more predictable pool. Is that the difference? I mean, I know you differentiate --
VAN SUSTEREN: -- between ObamaCare Risk Corridor and Medicare Part D.
RUBIO: Medicare Part D deals with a pool of enrollees that we understand very well. It's seniors, drug use, the prescription drug use. And we know what those patterns are and so companies could price it. But the ObamaCare exchanges, it's broad, open-ended and very unpredictable. That's why all these companies are being downgraded by Moody's because their initial filings early this year showed they expect to lose a lot of money because, as we predicted, young, healthy adults are not signing up in sufficient numbers for the exchanges.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So we wouldn't even get into this Risk Corridor problem if the ObamaCare met its numbers or predictions in terms of young, healthy people signing up to pay for the older, not so healthy people. Is that correct?
RUBIO: That's right. You wouldn't have -- there might be a company here and there that miscalculated, but you would have this industry wide problem we are not going to face. The result is, in my opinion, there are going to be billions of dollars in taxpayer money needed over the next three years to bail out companies that miscalculated. It's going to be a lot of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it hasn't happened yet, and I realize your legislation is because you predict it is going to happen because of the preliminary numbers showing that young healthy people are not signing up. But I'm curious, what do you want to do?
RUBIO: Well, I think this should be repealed. This shouldn't be in the law. We shouldn't be having any sort of mechanism where companies that are guaranteed to fail are going to be bailed out through taxpayer dollars. By the way, that was already going to happen at some level. It is really going to happen the president has lawlessly decided which part of ObamaCare to implement and which parts not to implement. The result is even less young healthy people are now signing up for the program.
VAN SUSTEREN: Without taking a position on whether I'm for it or against it, I'm curious, if you were successful in repealing -- and it I know it's in the House and in the Senate, but it seems unlikely because it's not going to go through the Senate. But even if you were -- if you were able to repeal it, what happens then? Because these insurance companies have all made bad bets based on numbers and so they are going to have an enormous problem. They have got to get the cash some place or frankly they have real money problems.
RUBIO: That is right. But again, many of these insurance companies were for ObamaCare when it first came out. They thought this was going to be a huge bonanza for them. They got involved in pushing for the law, advocating for the law. Many were at the table when it was drawn up. Of course, they always counted on this money being there for them on the back end. That is not right. It isn't fair that people and companies that can afford to hire lobbyists to come up here and figure out a way to get the taxpayers to bail them out for a program that doesn't work, was never going to work, and is now worse than ever.
VAN SUSTEREN: Of course, you can always tell with some of these things like the Risk Corridor -- it isn't written if, by some wild chance, a lot of healthy young people signed up, more than anyone expected, so they made a lot of extra money, the taxpayers wouldn't be getting any of that extra money on the back end. Isn't that true?
RUBIO: Not only is that true but a lot of this extra money you are talking about is money that is government money, taxpayer money, anyway. Don't forget that the exchanges are partially funded, significantly funded by money that's coming through the subsidies that ObamaCare provides. So, in essence, it's already taxpayer money that's flowing into these companies and flowing into these plans. So in, essence --
RUBIO: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me say one thing. This is a one-time deal, right? This is a sun-set provision. This isn't going to go on forever, this Risk Corridor?
RUBIO: It's for the first three years of the program. Again, TARP was a one-time deal and some of the other bailouts were a one-time deal. My bigger point is this. If ObamaCare is so flawed that it needs to be bailed out with billions of dollars of taxpayer money, then it shouldn't be done. The law shouldn't exist. This is one more example of why ObamaCare is bad for the country and bad for taxpayers.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you. Thanks for joining us.
RUBIO: Thanks, Greta.