Rubio: Trump-backed health care bill ‘not 100% of what I would want’

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio weighed in cautiously today on the House Republican plan — embraced as “wonderful” by President Donald Trump — to replace former President Barack Obama‘s signature Affordable Care Act.

 

Marco Rubio listens to Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, (left) before speaking at a 2016 Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

“Obviously it’s not 100 percent of what I would want to see,” Rubio said in an interview with Joel Malkin on West Palm Beach-based WJNO 1290-AM this morning.

 

Some conservatives have ripped the proposal as “Obamacare lite.” Rubio didn’t criticize the plan, but said he wants to see a Congressional Budget Office “score” on how much it will cost as well as an assessment of what it will mean for Floridians.

 

“Obviously I want to see the score, the numbers, the impact, and its impact on Florida too is critically important to me. I don’t want to see this being unfair to the state of Florida in comparison to other places,” Rubio said.

 

Here’s a transcript of his full remarks:

 

“Well, obviously it’s not 100 percent of what I would want to see. And so the best way to think about it is threefold. There’s three separate things that we need to do that all work together. The first is there’s a bunch of regulations and rules that were written that make it harder for innovation to occur in health insurance. In essence, you know, mandates and so forth and things that make it difficult for insurance to be created that’s flexible and affordable and the kind that people want. And that can be done by Secretary Price.

 

“The second is what can we do through this process called reconciliation, where you only need 51 votes in the Senate. And that’s what this bill endeavors to do. You can clearly repeal ObamaCare and you can replace portions of it. There are parts of it that you cannot because of the arcane Senate rules, you would need 60 votes to do that and obviously at this time we don’t have the 60 votes in the Senate to do that. So that’s what this bill attempts to do. It attempts to repeal as much of ObamaCare as you can do through reconciliation and replace it with as many things as you can do with 51 votes.

 

“The third are things like being able to sell insurance across state lines and so-forth. That will have to be done as part of a third endeavor and that’s why the president says for example that, ‘We’re not done. There’s more to come.’ That’s a separate package of bills and that would have to be done with 60 votes. And the reason I think why the House is doing it this way first is because they figure once ObamaCare is repealed and mostly replaced then at that point you may have a better chance of getting some of these red state senators to come onboard and vote for some of those other things that we need to do that require 60 votes.

 

“So that’s why it’s broken out the way it is. As far as the particular bill is concerned, it has many elements that are familiar to those of us that have been in this debate – the tax credits, the reforming of Medicaid and the like. Obviously I want to see the score, the numbers, the impact, and its impact on Florida too is critically important to me. I don’t want to see this being unfair to the state of Florida in comparison to other places.”

 

 

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