Apparently my item from earlier is causing the Rubio campaign some heartburn; Talking Points Memo argues he’s contradicting earlier pledges to scrap Obamacare, and Ramesh contends his position is confused.
Here’s what Rubio said, in video and transcript form:
Marco Rubio: Obamacare should be repealed.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. . . . I think it’s going to incentivize employers to pay the fine and get people off of employer-sponsored health care onto these exchanges that are going to be subsidized by taxpayers. I think it’s going to increase the number of people on Medicaid, which is only going to add to the fiscal strain on states and on the federal government. There are better solutions for health care than what’s been passed. 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 like allowing individuals to have the same tax benefit as their employer does, so that they can go out and buy insurance from the individual market . . .
Matt Lewis: So you wouldn’t scrap the ability for insurance agents — you said there were to — you wouldn’t scrap pre-existing conditions, you would keep that in?
Marco Rubio: Yeah, and I think there’s broad support for that, Republicans and the American public support that. And I think there’s support for the idea that 26 years old — up to age 26 years of age should be allowed to buy into their parents’ insurance plan. Beyond that, I think Obamacare is unaffordable. It should be scrapped in favor of changes to the tax code to allow individuals to have the same tax benefit their employer has when they buy their insurance, that allow small businesses to join up with other small businesses and create buying pools that can buy insurance across state markets. These are the kinds of innovations that I think would go a long way towards insuring more people and cost a lot less money. So I think we need get rid of these other provisions of Obamacare completely and replace them with these simpler, cheaper, better ideas.
I suppose a lot of this comes down to how you characterize “beyond that, I think the bill should be scrapped.”