Florida senatorial candidate Marco Rubio, once a strong advocate for repealing the entire health care law and replacing it with “real reforms,” is now telling reporters that he would not repeal the law’s pre-existing conditions exclusions and the provisions that allow children to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. From National Review’s Jim Geraghty:
A small group of reporters in a D.C. coffee shop, chatting with Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio. He just mentioned that there are two parts within the Obamacare legislation that he doesn’t want repealed. The first is the ban on insurance companies denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and the second is that he thinks that children up to age 26 should be allowed to “buy into” their parents’ coverage.
Politics Daily’s Matt Lewis:
Rubio says he would NOT get rid of the pre-existing condition provision of Obamacare. Also wouldn’t overturn 26-yr-olds on parents insur.
The statements seem to contradict Rubio’s previously calls to completely scrap the law and start over. In January, Rubio signed a Club For Growth’s pledge to repeal the bill and after it passed, issued a statement reiterating his “strong support for repealing it when I get to Washington and offering alternative reforms to make health care more accessible and affordable.” Similarly, during a March 28th appearance on Fox News Sunday, Rubio told Chris Wallace, “I think the first step is to repeal it. We need to win a few elections before we can get there. But we certainly need to start campaigning and talking about it.”
Rubio’s recent comments also highlight the rift in the Republican party between repeal purists like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and the Republican leadership, which has been reluctant to embrace complete repeal. King has filed a discharge petition on legislation he has drafted to repeal the law and is now lobbying to secure the 218 votes necessary to force House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to bring repeal to the floor. King has not yet convinced Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to support the discharge petition.
Rubio’s press office released the following statement:
Marco believes the health care law should be repealed – all of it. And in its place, we should adopt common sense reforms for which broad agreement exists. Some of these ideas were lumped in with the monstrousity of the final bill. He outlined those today. They were the same ones included in Republican alternatives, including the Coburn plan, which Marco highlighted at the time as a good piece of legislation.
In fact, the House Republican alternative talked about “establishing universal access programs to guarantee access to affordable health care for those with pre-existing conditions”.