WASHINGTON -- Less than a year after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the 2013 government shutdown over funding for Obamacare a “predictable disaster,” Republicans are hinting they might be willing to do it again in a few months.
A group of 14 Republicans, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote to Boehner on Wednesday identifying a provision of the Affordable Care Act that a Government Accountability Office report concluded would require an additional appropriation from Congress in the next fiscal year. According to ThinkProgress, the provision allows the federal government to reimburse insurance companies that underestimate claims they will have to pay with profits from insurance companies that overestimated. In their letter to Boehner, the Republicans wrote that the program “puts taxpayers at risk of a large bailout if insurers systematically lose money on exchange plans.”
The Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona, urge Boehner to end the program when Congress votes to fund the government during the lame-duck session after the November elections.
The letter notes that the current continuing budget resolution expires Dec. 11. "Congress will undoubtedly have its feet held to the fire by the American people to pass another stop-gap appropriations bill avoiding a government shutdown,” the Republicans write.
“The American people expect us, as Members of Congress, to fulfill our Oath of Office and defend the Constitution. Therefore, we must act to protect Congress’ power of the purse and prohibit the Obama administration from dispersing unlawful risk corridor payments providing for an Obamacare taxpayer bailout.”
A Boehner spokesman declined to comment to Roll Call when asked if he could rule out a shutdown over the issue.