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After Obamacare signup, Marco Rubio defends $10k subsidy some Republicans call "special deal"


Though a staunch Obamacare critic, Sen. Marco Rubio has enrolled his family in one of its health plans and will accept a $10,000 federal subsidy that some fellow Republicans rejected as a "special deal."

Rubio on Monday defended his decision to receive the annual subsidy and said it wasn’t that special.

"It’s an [employer] contribution," Rubio said. "It’s available to every employee of the federal government."

Rubio pointed out that, as a member of Congress, he’s required to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan if he wants health insurance through his employer, the federal government.

But while Rubio’s position is technically correct —- he is receiving a type of insurance contribution from his employer that’s common in government and the private sector — his decision to accept the subsidy poses political risks for the 2016 GOP presidential hopeful.

Rubio’s decision has drawn fire from Democrats, who charge him with hypocrisy, and puts him at odds with some Republicans who are refusing to accept the federal contribution money in a protest of the Affordable Care Act.

Others have shied away from the subsidy to insulate themselves from political attacks that Congress is enjoying a special perk under Obamacare.

So far, about 10 other senators and a handful of U.S. House members have rejected or avoided receiving the annual subsidy.

Rubio said he would vote to do away with the subsidy if it applied to everyone equally. Until then, he’s keeping the money.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina didn’t want to wait that long. He made a big deal last week when he announced he was enrolling in Obamacare but rejecting the employer contribution.

"I don't think members of Congress should get a special deal," Graham said in a press release. "Obamacare is being pushed on the American people and we should live under it just like everyone else."

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