Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 25, 2010

WHEN 'FULL REPEAL' DOESN'T MEAN 'FULL REPEAL'.... In Florida, Senate candidate Marco Rubio became a darling of the right-wing crowd by taking uncompromising, far-right positions on most issues, most notably health care. Rubio has been unapologetic in calling for a full repeal of all of the Affordable Care Act, regardless of the consequences.

But wouldn't you know it, as support for health care reform grows, and Americans welcome some of its popular provisions, Rubio isn't so sure about repealing the whole thing after all. Here's what the far-right Floridian told National Review and a few other outlets at a D.C. coffee shop yesterday:

He just mentioned that there are two parts within the Obamacare legislation that he doesn't want repealed. The first is the ban on insurance companies denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and the second is that he thinks that children up to age 26 should be allowed to "buy into" their parents' coverage.

So, Rubio wants to get rid of that health care law he just hates -- except the stuff that everyone seems to like.

His campaign later issued a clarification saying Rubio still wants to repeal "all" of the Affordable Care Act, though he approves of "some" of the ideas "lumped in with the monstrousity [sic] of the final bill."

There are a couple of problems here. The first is that the Rubio line isn't exactly coherent. If he plays a role in scrapping the entire law, that will get rid of the very provisions he now claims to support. Maybe he'd try to pass the "good" provisions in a new bill, but that would take a lot of time, and may ultimately fail. Ultimately, Rubio can't have a full and partial repeal at the same time.

The second is more substantive, and it's a lesson that Republicans simply refuse to even think about, no matter how many times it's explained to them. If you're prepared to ban discrimination on those with pre-existing conditions, then the policy must include an individual mandate. It's not that complicated -- if those with pre-existing conditions are to be protected, the mandate is necessary to keep costs from spiraling and to prevent the "free rider" problem.

Of course, if there's an individual mandate, then it's also necessary to include subsidies to those who otherwise couldn't afford coverage. And once you put this string together -- protections for those with pre-existing conditions ... which requires a mandate ... which requires subsidies -- what you're left with is the Affordable Care Act that right-wing politicians like Marco Rubio are so anxious to repeal in its entirety.

Shouldn't Rubio have done his homework before launching a Senate campaign?

Regardless, I don't imagine this will be the last time we'll see a far-right GOP candidate hedge on a "full" repeal. It's something to keep an eye on as November draws closer.

Steve Benen 10:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

-Rubio sees Christ numbers, resets campaign.

Posted by: DAY on June 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

i before e except after tea

...lumped in with the monstrousity [sic] of the final bill.

If it spells like a teabagger...
Thinks like a teabagger...
Stinks like a teabagger...

It's a teabagger.

Posted by: koreyel on June 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

...a lesson that Republicans simply refuse to even think about, no matter how many times it's explained to them.

Which is why Republican politicians keep spouting the same nonsense.

And of course, more generally, logical thought is not the Right's strong suit.

Posted by: bleh on June 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

But you're doing logic here. Successful politicians promise a free lunch: tax cuts plus more goodies, but only for the right people (people just like you, Mr./Mrs. Republican Primary Voter!). Military adventures don't count as "spending", neither do farm subsidies. Government hands off Medicare!

Posted by: Joe Buck on June 25, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Rubio still wants to scrap the whole thing, after all - he belongs to the "Something For Nothing/ I Got Mine, Fuck You" crowd ...but now that it's pretty clear that these provisions in the law are popular, he's going to lie in order to get votes, or at least stop the loss of votes that seem to be going toward Crist.

He's just another extreme right wing ideologue, realizing that he can't be honest about what he really wants to do once in office. Like all right wingers, he's hoping he can fool enough of the not-too-bright to vote for him, or enough of normal intelligence are too apathetic to show up to vote for his opponent.

Posted by: jcricket on June 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

And once you put this string together -- protections for those with pre-existing conditions ... which requires a mandate ... which requires subsidies -- what you're left with is the Affordable Care Act...

What I'm left with is a nagging feeling that we've created a Rube Goldberg machine, when this whole procedure could've been accomplished more effectively, cheaply, and easily by saying "If you're sick, go to a doctor and the government will pay for it." No worry about existing conditions, or mandates, or subsidies, or this idiocy that is the ACA.

Posted by: Tree on June 25, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

BPublican cognitive dissonance knows no limits.

They would approve of eating but, want to repeal the part about taking a dump afterwards.

They approve of going to war, but would repeal the part about providing armor and a living wage for troops and their families.

Posted by: Winkandanod on June 25, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Typical G*Per - wants something for nothing. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

Posted by: Marko on June 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK


I'm a teabaggeur and I'm okay
I sleep well nights and
A simplified parody of a person night and day
Just a teabaggeur and that's okay
Sleeping well at night
A simplified parody of a person night and day
I use my gut in difficulties , and eat my lunch
I go Weee !
Etc etc etc

Posted by: FRP on June 25, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

To be fair to Rubio, there are a lot of liberal critics of the Affordable Care Act that are equally unwilling to acknowledge the points Steve Benen just made.

Mind you, that doesn't make Rubio any less of an idiot...

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

No homework necessary when you are a Republican. Homework smacks of elitism.

Posted by: Ian on June 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Rubio = Idiot.

Homework done!

Posted by: Trollop McCain on June 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Just a point of clarification...

if those with pre-existing conditions are to be protected, the mandate is necessary to keep costs from spiraling and to prevent the "free rider" problem.

The mandate is meant to prevent the problem of 'adverse selection', wherein only the sick buy healthcare, while the healthy do not.

The cash penalties for not buying healthcare are meant to solve the 'free rider' problem, wherein people do not buy insurance until after they are sick/injured.

Posted by: Gridlock on June 25, 2010 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

That is a meaningless distinction. Adverse selection and "free riders" are two sides of the same coin. As are the mandate and the fine/tax that is used to enforce it.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

LOL Marco Rubio is PRO-immigration - most of his supporters came over demanding Political Asylum which means Money for life here in US, The Political Asylum should be an EXCEPTION not the RULE - better check out how many billions his Cuban Buddies receive in Sugar Industry and takes it to Brazil to spend, not here in the states - More leakage of money going to Vietnam by Nail Salons, Mexico "Guest Workers" Companies receiving a tax credit to send jobs to China, India & other places - and you wonder how we got into this mess? NO more party loyalty.

Posted by: JanSimpson on October 17, 2010 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK
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