Marco Rubio told reporters at a Cosi on Capitol Hill this afternoon that repealing Obamacare will be a big issue in the Florida Senate race. "Obamacare should be repealed," Rubio said. "It's going to bankrupt America, it adds $2.5 trillion dollars to our debt in the long term. ... There are better solutions to health care than what's been passed."
Rubio then said that there are a couple of provisions in the bill that he supports: the ban on insurance companies charging higher rates for people with preexisting conditions and allowing people up to age 26 stay on their parents' insurance plan. I asked Rubio how he could include the ban on discriminating against people with preexisting conditions without having insurance rates skyrocket. He replied that he thinks the ban could work if it is coupled with support for high risk pools and free market reforms:
"Here's the deal. The way you balance that out is the combination of things. Number 1, the existence of high risk pools at the state level which I have supported and believe is a proper function [of government]. There are some folks in our society that are chronically ill that are difficult to insure from an actuarial standpoint and that require something like high risk pools. ...
"The second concept is you want a healthy insurance market. You want more healthy people to be buying insurance. And the way you make that possible is by providing a health insurance marketplace where there are products being sold that make sense for them to buy and you're only going to have that if you have a vibrant private market where there's real competition."
I'm not sure if the ban is workable--or necessary if the government properly funds high risk pools. But I think it's fair to say that this Talking Points Memo blog post--"Rubio: I Wouldn't Repeal All Of Health Care Reform"--is misleading.
Rubio supports completely repealing Obamacare--his spokesman confirms that he backs Sen. Jim DeMint’s one-line repeal bill. And in a separate piece of legislation, he would include free-market reforms, as well as support for high-risk pools and a ban on discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.