Sink the Obamacare Bailout
Most Americans oppose tax-funded support for insurance companies that lose money under Obamacare.


Deroy Murdock

When Congress reconvenes on Monday, September 8, Republicans should fire a torpedo directly into the USS Obamacare. It would blast the creaking vessel’s hull well below the waterline and possibly flood the engine room. And for this, a recent survey reveals, Americans of all stripes would cheer wildly.

Republicans must sink the Obamacare bailout. Believe it or not, Obamacare forces taxpayers to help health-insurance companies absorb significant losses that they incur through Obama’s medical scheme. According to the House Government Oversight Committee, this could cost $1 billion this year alone. This outrage — lodged on page 233 of the original 2,409-page Obamacare bill — would be awful enough if these insurers were prosperous, albeit unwitting, victims of Obama’s $2.6 trillion entitlement. Instead, insurance companies helped pile-drive Obamacare down the throats of Americans, a majority of whom opposed this legislation and loathe it more today than yesterday. Hard data now demonstrate that Americans hate the Obamacare bailout — all across the political spectrum.

McLaughlin & Associates surveyed 1,000 likely voters last June. It asked a simple, straightforward question:

“If private insurance companies lose money selling health insurance under Obamacare, should taxpayers help cover their losses?”

The reaction was volcanic.

McLaughlin found that 81.2 percent of respondents said “No” to this concept, while only 9.9 percent approved. Another 8.9 percent were not sure what to think.

This idea is universally despised, even without garnishing it with a red-meat phrase like “the Obamacare Bailout.” McLaughlin’s gently posed question yields widespread revulsion.

Single women hate this concept. Liberals hate it. Obama voters hate it. If the Obamacare bailout wants a friend, it should buy a dog.

Consider the huge percentages by which these often left-of-center population segments just say “No!” to the Obamacare bailout:

Students: 67.6               

Blacks: 69.2

Hispanics: 72.7

18- to 29-year-olds: 75.0

Women: 79.3

Democrats: 75.7

Government workers: 82.4

Independents: 83.2

Even among self-identified “very liberal” respondents, 22 percent back the Obamacare bailout, but 68.6 percent disapprove.

Those least disgusted with the Obamacare bailout are, oddly enough, self-described liberal Republicans. They may be more pro–big business than pro–free enterprise. As such, some of them may smile as the federal government vacuums hard-earned tax dollars from the wallets of regular workers and pumps them into the vaults of multi-billion-dollar, pro-government corporations. But even here, only 30.7 percent of these RINOs applaud Obamacare’s exercise in cronyism. Another 66.9 percent disapprove. So, the Obamacare bailout loses badly among the Nelson Rockefeller–George Elmer Pataki crowd.

This datum may be the most encouraging to Obamacare’s foes: Among those very likely to vote in the November 4 midterm elections, 82 percent reject the Obamacare bailout.

With a margin of error of just plus or minus 3.1 percent, McLaughlin’s survey is solid. Also, the groups mentioned above include more than 30 respondents each. Thus, they are statistically significant and reflect the broader subpopulations that McLaughlin sampled. Behind these figures stand millions of Americans who would be thrilled to be rid of this mess.

As Republicans and free-marketeers work to junk the Obamacare bailout, they should not babble in Washingtonese. They should avoid debating whether or not Section 1342 of the Affordable Care Act is revenue-neutral as the result of reinsurance contributions collected by the U.S. Treasury across multiple fiscal years.


This program officially is called “Risk Corridor.” This is baffling, yet strangely intriguing. (“Coming soon: Risk Corridor, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Directed by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.”)

Just call it “the Obamacare bailout.” This phrase should turn an idea opposed by 81.2 percent of the public into something even more toxic. Support likely will fall to 5 percent or lower, and the numbers of undecided respondents will crater, too. If likely voters oppose “the Obamacare bailout” by 90 percent — with 5 percent in favor and 5 percent still clueless — congressional Republicans will have no excuse for not drowning this rotten sliver of this wretched law.