GOP: Hold the Debt Ceiling Hostage to Increase the Debt. What?

Wily-Coyote

As we discussed here a little over a week ago, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) floated the idea of repealing risk corridors, or what they refer to as Obamacare “bailouts,” in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

Here’s what Paul Ryan said at the time.

“A lot of folks don’t realize there could be some massive insurance company bailouts in the near future with Obamacare that a lot of taxpayers probably didn’t know about that we don’t want to see happen. That’s one of the issues that’s in the realm of possibility. There are a lot of things … that are being discussed but its just not in our interest to negotiate in the media.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing risk corridors would cost the federal government and thus taxpayers $8 billion.

“CBO now projects that, over the 2015–2024 period, risk corridor payments from the federal government to health insurers will total $8 billion and the corresponding collections from insurers will amount to $16 billion, yielding net savings for the federal government of $8 billion,” the budget office concluded.

Whoops?

Will House Republicans hold the debt ceiling hostage in an attempt to repeal a part of Obamacare that would effectively increase our debt if it were repealed?

Maybe. After all, the CBO is totally in-the-tank for the administration, right?

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  • muselet

    It’s wingnut arithmetic, Ashby. It’s not supposed to make sense to anyone who’s, you know, numerate.

    –alopecia

    • D_C_Wilson

      But Paul Ryan is their “numbers guy”. Just don’t ask him about any specific numbers.

  • Jon Fox

    And they loved these risk corridors when they passed Medicare Part D which include them forever(not just 3 years as Obamacare mandates).

  • Ipecac

    The cynicism of these assholes just amazes me.

    I assume they understand that the risk corridors protect the insurance companies themselves. And Republicans are all about protecting big business so if this wasn’t part of Obamacare, they’d be all for it. But since it is part of Obamacare, they’re willing to badmouth something that would hurt their primary constituent, big business, to try to undercut the law.

  • Nefercat

    “Will House Republicans hold the debt ceiling hostage in an attempt to repeal a part of Obamacare that would effectively increase our debt if it were repealed?”

    Yes, of course they will. The republicans do not give the tiniest shit about the debt or the deficit or spending levels or any of the other economic things that matter. The only things that matter:

    One percenters: Will this economic policy funnel more money upward and away from the peasants who wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway? Yes? Okay, then.

    Goobertastic ‘baggers: Will this economic policy put the Muslin usurper in his place once and for all and stop money from going to those people? Yes? Well, okay then.

    Take food from hungry children? Lifesaving medical care from one of those people? Just delightful perks of the job for republicans.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Numbers shmumbers….they don’t matter! Because if they did, they’d be for the ACA instead of against it. And as always, they’re betting that the American public will, once again, ignore the actual facts and only listen to their braying.

  • Christopher Foxx

    There are a lot of things … that are being discussed but its just not in our interest to negotiate in the media.

    Of course not. If you do it in public people just might see what you’re doing.

  • i_a_c

    I don’t believe that the Republicans actually want to extract this concession. As has been mentioned, the risk corridors protect big business, and you can bet that they’re telling Congressional leadership that it’s out of the question.

    I think the real point of this line is to associate “Obamacare” with something unpopular like “bailouts” and maybe scare a few more people that haven’t been scared yet.

  • mrbrink

    God forbid we divert a few hundred billion from war and a few hundred billion from tax cuts for the rich to see that people get the healthcare they need without ruining them.

    Getting to second base with repeal is only a formality until they can clunk it over the head and drop it off a coastal cliff.