As all of you know, I was a hardcore Scott Walker supporter for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. So with his departure from the race, I've been and remain a free agent, sitting back and waiting to see how this massively overpopulated agglomeration shakes out before determining in which direction I'm going to go. And even then it might involve more than a little bit of nose-holding.
Consider that the context in which I point out that while Ted Cruz was burning down his own party in his futile, grandstanding, publicity-whoring attempt to "defund" ObamaCare, Marco Rubio was actually planting the seeds of the Unaffordable Care Act's eventual death spiral:
Senator Marco Rubio may have dealt the biggest blow in the GOP’s five-year war against ObamaCare.
A 2014 budget measure inspired by the Florida Republican and presidential hopeful is pushing some insurers to drop out of the ObamaCare [cartels], experts say.
“I think this is one of the most effective things they’ve done so far in terms of trying to undermine the [Una]ffordable Care Act,” Tim Jost, a healthcare law professor at Washington and Lee University, said of Republicans in Congress.
This fall, more than a dozen health insurers representing 800,000 people have dropped out of the ObamaCare [cartels], many out of fear that the administration no longer has the cash to cushion their losses in the costly early years of the [cartels].
Also, remember the cascade-failing ObamaCare regional coop network? That was Rubio's doing as well.
The nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealthCare, specifically mentioned the specter of a funding shortfall last week when it threatened to end its participation in the [cartels] after 2016.
The angst in the industry centers on an obscure program in the healthcare law known as “risk corridors” that was designed to shield insurers against losses.
Amazing that nobody ever stopped to question the overall efficacy of a plan that assumes massive losses for insurers, huh?
Rubio in 2013 went on the warpath against the program, decrying it as a “taxpayer bailout.” He penned op-eds against it, testified about it as the star witness at a House Oversight Committee hearing and even made his case to top House Republicans including then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH8).
“There is a problem with the way [ObamaCare] [cartels] are now designed that have not yet received the attention they deserve, but I promise you’re going to be hearing a lot about it in the days to come,” Rubio said in a Senate floor speech in early 2014.
While Rubio’s attempt to scrap risk corridors altogether was unsuccessful, his push contributed to a policy rider that was inserted into a 1,603-page spending bill passed at the end of 2014.
Under the provision, which is still in effect, the [Commissariat] of Health and Human Services (HHS) could no longer [raid and otherwise slush-fund-ize] other accounts — such as its overall appropriations or its MediCare funding — to fund the risk corridors program.
Brilliantly insidious, no? Like Cruz could ever be that subtle.
Now Rubio is taking his crusade against the "bailout" program to the presidential campaign trail.
The senator and dozens of other Republicans are seeking to renew the policy rider — or repeal risk corridors altogether — in the year-end budget bill that Congress must pass by December 11th to avoid a government shutdown.
Which would be on much firmer public relations ground, I might add.
“So far, we’ve succeeded in stopping the Obama administration from bailing out healthcare companies under ObamaCare, and it’s critical that Congress once again stand with taxpayers to stop any taxpayer bailout of health insurers from happening,” Rubio wrote in a letter to GOP leaders of both chambers on Tuesday.
How many times have I tried to tell you, my Tea Party friends, that strategy is about more than just "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" You have to maneuver, you have to manipulate, you have to scheme, you have to plan, you have to prepare the future field of battle. Senator Rubio's anti-"risk corridors" rider wasn't the raging, cathartic call to battle that Defundageddon was, but the latter failed, miserably, as it was always going to do, while the former has laid the groundwork for a successful Republican retaking of the White House next year and an actual full ObamaCare repeal to follow.
I haven't made up my mind yet on a 2016 candidate and will not for months. But y'all have to admit, this is a great big feather in rightwing Dezi's cap.