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October 22, 2013

Marco Rubio...Hey, We Should Throw Obama A Lifeline On ObamaCare

As I said on a recent podcast, the GOP message is going to become "fix" ObamaCare. Here's Marco "Amnesty" Rubio.

The widespread problems with the ObamaCare website are generating a new backlash in Congress, with Sen. Marco Rubio planning to introduce legislation that would delay the health law's individual mandate until the technical failures are addressed.

The Florida senator discussed the plan Tuesday morning in an interview with Fox News. He said it would be "prudent" to delay the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance -- set to kick in early next year -- until users can consistently access the main website.

"How are you going to go after people next year ... if the thing you're forcing them to buy isn't available to buy?" he asked, saying the site is "not working."

This was always the problem with the "delay" strategy. Obama needs a delay. Why in the world would you give him what he needs?

Allah had a post last night saying Ted Cruz is rejecting the "let it burn" approach to ObamaCare. Watch the clip at the end of the post, I'm not sure where Cruz stands on this. Yes, he rejects the notion that the GOP should try an profit politically from the suffering ObamaCare is imposing. That's just basic politics. You don't win votes by calling people idiots for voting for this and then say, "now you must suffer". What Cruz doesn't do in that quote (though he may later) is what Rubio does...suggest an affirmative course of action to make ObamaCare "better".

There's some strategic ambiguity (at least for now) in Cruz's statement that Rubio's action lacks.

As for the individual mandate, Conn Caroll makes the case that unlike the employer mandate, the administration probably does have the legal authority to delay it unilaterally.

Delaying the mandate is more a political problem than a policy one. It was never going to be strong enough to force enough young people into the system to prevent the actuarial "death spiral" of poor and sick people signing up, while not enough young and healthy ones paid the bills.

Keep an eye on the GOP as talk will increasingly be about "fixing" ObamaCare. The question is, will they "fix" it within the current framework of the ACA or demand that the "fix" be repeal and replace?

The GOP better choose wisely. The wrong choice (fixing the ACA) will do far more damage to their chances of keeping the House and winning Senate seats in 2014 than the shutdown ever could.

Added: People are arguing in the comments that this is smart politics from Rubio because he knows the Democrats will never agree to it and it makes the GOP look like the good guys.

I disagree. The GOP already wanted to delay this but was told it was a bunch of "anarchists" and "you can't change the law of the land". Rubio's concession won't win over any converts who don't already know the GOP opposes ObamaCare and wants it delayed.

What will happen is the Democrats will come back and say, "Of course there are problems and we need to work in a bi-partisan way to improve the ACA. The GOP should help us do that".

Then the ball will bounce back to Rubio who already has admitted people are being hurt and the question will be, "You only propose delaying things, why not help fix it? By your own admission not doing so will hurt people. Why are you and the GOP putting your political goals ahead of helping people?"

Once the GOP gets involved in "fixing" or "helping" with ObamaCare the question is how and the onus goes to the GOP to "do something".

Just stay out of it.

As the saying goes, when your opponent is making a mistake, let them.

Related(ish) because I don't want to write a whole post on it:

There are some in the GOP that simply do not get the goal is not to create "a governing majority" if the policy results are going to be like they were from 2001-2006.

If Republicans think that acting like an opposition party when they are in opposition, why would anyone think they will be a truly conservative majority? Their track record isn't very good.

Unless conservatives believe there will be real changes in the GOP the next time they get control, they aren't going to get behind the idea of playing ball with Team GOP.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:05 PM

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