What exactly did Marco Rubio say when he indicated yesterday that he would not get rid of the new health care law’s ban on denying insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions? Was he flip-flopping on his commitment to repealing the bill?
Jim Geraghty, who was at Rubio’s chat with bloggers, has posted the video. “Obamacare should be repealed. It’s going to bankrupt America. It adds two and a half trillion dollars to our debt in the long term,” Rubio said strongly.
But he also said: “So I think there are a couple of things that stand on their own that people like, like the pre-existing condition clause, I think there’s widespread support for. The idea that people up to the age of 26 should be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plan, has widespread support. But beyond that, I think the bill should be scrapped and replaced with much better ideas…”
Rubio also said of the pre-existing conditions aspect of the law: “Yeah, and I think there’s broad support for that, Republicans and the American public support that.” As Think Progress pointed out, this is not true — Republicans do not support the ban, but have floated other ideas such as state-based high-risk insurance pools for people who are refused coverage elsewhere.
So is Rubio waffling, or is there some nuanced middle position here? Geraghty writes: “I suppose a lot of this comes down to how you characterize ‘beyond that, I think the bill should be scrapped.’”
The TPM Poll Average gives independent Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican, the lead with 38.2%, followed by Rubio at 33.7%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek with 14.5%.