Well all remember when future president Donald Trump destroyed Marco Rubio with the nickname ‘Little Marco.’ Since then, Marco Rubio has more or less been a laughingstock among liberals and conservatives alike, and has mostly lost his prominence as a Republican figure.
But that may be misguided. This article on Slate details how Marco Rubio guided a 2015 spending bill to gut the healthcare marketplace. I only entered the insurance marketplace late last year, but was shocked to see even my employer sponsored healthcare come with an over $6k deductible. This is something I will never meet, bar an act of God. But according to this article, that sharp increase in deductibles was created by design, and was not an accident or consequence of healthcare reform.
It turns out that Marco Rubio and his Republican helpers guided this legislation by gutting what is called the ‘risk corridors’ under Obamacare. This was a tax incentive to reimburse insurance companies through taxpayer dollars for taking on an initial batch of sick people who previously did not qualify for insurance. But Little Marco in all his insight decided to cull this reimbursement through a massive $2.5 billion tax cut. He then helped pass the cost on to insurance companies who were acting in good faith, which is what caused the deductibles and premiums to skyrocket in early 2016. This was bound to happen, as insurance companies and ‘good faith’ should generally not be used in the same sentence.
While Paul Ryan has an obvious misunderstanding of how healthcare works, insurance companies generally make their money off healthy (or uninjured people), who more or less pay for the sick people whose costs can rack up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But by design, it turns out, healthcare reform was destined to fail. While it might seem that Republicans will move on to other legislative matters now, I would expect another healthcare ‘repeal and replace’ bill to come out soon, presumably one that doesn’t take healthcare away from 25 million Americans.
Still, it’s fascinating to see that things that border on conspiracy theory actually have taken place in the public record. Marco Rubio may not have realized what he was doing, and may have just seen that as a tax cut, but there is more than just a strong correlation here. There’s a causation that defunding the ‘risk corridor’ of Obamacare would cause insurers to pull out of the healthcare marketplace. And if that doesn’t piss you off, then I don’t know what will.