WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he’ll support a simple repeal of Obamacare, if such a vote comes to pass now that the Senate bill has imploded.
“I believe Obamacare is broken. I believe it’s bad for our country,” the Florida Republican said in his daily Facebook Live talk from his office.
But it’s doubtful a simple repeal without a replacement could gain enough support to pass.
"If it is a bill that simply repeals, I believe that will add to more uncertainty” and higher premiums, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told reporters this morning. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said on MSNBC: "I do not think that it is going to be constructive to repeal a law that at this point is so interwoven within our health care system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement. I think that would create great anxiety ..."
In December 2015, Rubio joined most other Republicans in voting for a repeal that met President Obama’s veto.
Said Rubio at the time: “Once again, President Obama’s extreme liberal views and actions remind us of why it’s so important for this country to replace him with a conservative president who will actually sign a bill into law that repeals and replaces ObamaCare.”
Rubio this morning again criticized newspaper editorials about the now stalled Senate bill. “The idea that somehow Obamacare is working well for people is just absolutely wrong,” Rubio said, ignoring those the law has helped.
Instead, Rubio said young, healthy people cannot afford the “astronomical” premiums or high co-payments even with subsidies. He made a case for offering more plans that insure only against catastrophic events.
“They don’t have an organization to protest and they certainly don’t have the assistance of some of these commentators. They are the forgotten people in this debate,” Rubio said.
“Or what about people on employer-sponsored health insurance?” Rubio asked, saying premiums for those people are rising because providers are offsetting losses in the Obamacare market.
“Or what about the fact that Medicaid as it is currently structured is unsustainable in the long-term and is contributing to our debt?” Rubio said. “No one discusses that, either. We have an obligation to safety net, to provide health coverage to those the way that Medicaid was designed, for truly disadvantaged, but if we keep doing the way we are doing now, that program goes bankrupt along with Medicare and Social Security.”
--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times