Marco Rubio Wants to Lead the Next Wave of the Delay-Obamacare Campaign
Ted Cruz convinced the Republican Party to shut down the federal government in a bid to defund Obamacare. The result: 120,000 lost jobs, a $24 billion hit to GDP, and a complete cratering of support for the Republican Party in national polls. But it wasn’t all bad news—at least for Cruz personally. He raised quite a bit of money off his stunt, and he’s a hero to Tea Party types who can lift a politician to a victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Now Marco Rubio, who mainly stayed invisible during Cruz’s crusade, is picking up the baton in the anti-Obamacare fight with a proposal that seems, in comparison, logical, moderate, and oriented toward the practical goal of improving the lives of his constituents as they struggle with a federal enrollment system that’s proved as unready for prime-time as Republicans warned. Unlike Cruz’s bid, it’s unlikely to provoke either a national political backlash nor do much to make him a hero to activists.
“It’s unfair that on the one hand you are telling people that if they don’t buy insurance next year the IRS is going to come after them with a fine,” the Florida Republican senator told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Tuesday. “It’s unfair to say that to them and then turn around and make it so difficult, or impossible, for them to buy that health insurance.”
Rubio said he plans to introduce a bill on Monday, when the Senate is back in session, to “basically say … that the Obamacare website has to be up and functioning for six consecutive months before they can begin to enforce this individual mandate on people.”