April 19th, 2010
02:35 PM ET
5 years ago

Rubio: Obamacare different than Romneycare

Mitt Romney endorsed Marco Rubio's Senate bid in Florida on Monday.
Mitt Romney endorsed Marco Rubio's Senate bid in Florida on Monday.

Washington (CNN) - With Mitt Romney in Florida Monday to endorse his Senate bid, Marco Rubio spoke charitably about the health care plan that Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts – a plan many conservatives have called a blueprint for the health care bill recently signed into law by President Obama.

In an interview with The National Review after their joint rally in Tampa, Rubio called Romney's health care plan "a work in progress."

The libertarian Cato Institute last week described the Obama and Romney plans as "identical." Both plans, for instance, mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. Rubio has called the Obama mandate unconstitutional and supports a joint federal lawsuit to overturn the new law.

Rubio suggested in the interview that the mandate in Romney's plan is more palatable because it is a state-driven solution, instead of a federal plan forced on the states.

"All I would say to you is that states were designed to be laboratories for creative thoughts and ideas," Rubio said. "That's what the Framers of our great republic intended. They wanted the states to be the places that came up with innovation and competition."

Rubio, accusing the president of taking a step toward single-payer system, said there are "major distinctions between what's happening in Washington and what I hope states will do."

He also echoed familiar Romney arguments on how the Massachusetts plan differs from the Obama plan.

"There are major distinctions between that and what Obama is trying to do in Washington," Rubio said. "For one, it didn't raise any taxes. Number two, it is not adding to our deficit. That is my biggest objection to Obamacare, although there are many others. My number-one objection to Obamacare is that we can't afford it, even if it was the greatest idea in the world."


Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Keep spinning it. ObamaCare = RomneyCare. It's the same plan that republicans came up with in the 1990's in opposition to Clinton's health care plan. What was good enough for the GOP then is bad now? The GOP is a bunch of flip-floppers.

    April 19, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Kevin Cantu

    Whats good for the goose is good for the gander Mr. Rubio....Any type of mandatory insurance(including AUTO) shouldn't be pushed on anyone. That includes states who do it too. I'd also like to touch back in MANDATORY AUTO insurance....you know it's funny to hear people complain about OBAMACARE but yet I hear no one complain about MANDATORY AUTO insurance in all 50 states....So I guess you can fool the American people some of the time but not all the time???Hypocrisy reeks in this country!!!

    April 19, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. al in memphis

    Rubio suggested in the interview that the mandate in Romney's plan is more palatable because it is a state-driven solution, instead of a federal plan forced on the states.

    "All I would say to you is that states were designed to be laboratories for creative thoughts and ideas," Rubio said. "That's what the Framers of our great republic intended. They wanted the states to be the places that came up with innovation and competition."
    __________________________________________________

    This statement has dumb written all over it. If they are principly the same plans then how is one better because it was at the state level. Just mouthspeak to tow the party line with litte regard that some educated voters is actually listening.

    Florida voters need no more evidence than this is not the right persons to send to DC

    April 19, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    I've got a great idea. How about tort reform to end frivolous lawsuits? Oh wait....
    Have a nice day!

    April 19, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Lynne CA

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it's a duck.

    If the United Stats can afford $3 trillion dollars for the Iraq war, we can afford health care for American citizens. Something tells me the rethugs have their values misplaced.

    April 19, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Now isn't this a classic. Rubio taking two identical plans and calling one the greatest thing since sliced bread and the other a recipe for disaster. How fun it is to watch this Republican double speak. Come on Mario, you either like them both or you don't. Oh, I forgot, he has to follow the Republican mantra of making Obama the worst thing to ever walk foot in America even if the health care plan was originally a Republican idea.

    April 19, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Duck Fallas

    "Obama" begins with an O. "Romney" begins with an R. Duh.

    April 19, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Deport him back to Cuba!

    No, Mr. Rubio, what Florida can't afford is another corrupt, religious, right-wing hack going to D.C. to "just say no". This idiot is running commercials here in Florida stating he will "stand up" to Pres. Obama and say "no" to his "radical agenda". The same blah, blah, blah as the derangement sisters. You know, Bachman-Palin overdrive!

    Run as an indy Charlie. Please!!!

    April 19, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Jeff in DC

    That's a great line of distinction that Obamacare adds to the deficit, while Romneycare doesn't. Except for the fact that it's flippin' LIE. I have enormous tolerance for Republicans and their differences on policy... but WHY CAN'T THEY RECOGNIZE BASIC FACTS? I think it's a minimum standard to expect from people.... For instance, as a supporter of both Romneycare AND Obamacare, I can at least acknowledge the *fact* that Obamacare raises certain types of taxes... not income taxes, but medical device taxes and such. I mean, I'm not completely delusional here.

    April 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Robert

    blah, blah, blah marco. You are a new puppet in the political arena.

    April 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. JA/TN

    suddenly folk have been enlightened concerning deficits, constitutional matters, where all this enlighment during the days of false wmds, squandering a budget surplus, engaging soldiers in two wars, do include false terror alerts and the minomer mission accomplished, the same outrage of today, had their heads in the sand during the era, all in protest claim to be so religious, and only want to give corporate welfare (tax breaks)

    April 19, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. MPeters

    Three words for constitutionality: Commerce Clause Power.

    Three more words for consitutionality of the individual mandate: Power to Tax.

    Words to remember Romney and Rubio by in advocacy of lawsuits: Fraud and abuse of Taxpayer money.

    What Rubio fails to understand is...if States are "laboratories," then how do you put that "best practice" into effect if not for a Federal enactment of regulatory reform on the national industry. Here, MA came up with a solution by "innovation and competition" which proved to be able to handle this problem. The Federal government is implementing some of those innovative ideas in dealing with its regulation of interstate commerce among the states.

    Just because you don't like it doesn't make it unconstitutional. Nor does it make it that much different from what Romney did in MA.

    And we can afford invasion of two countries, but not healthcare reform. That's what I call "mixed up priorities."

    April 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Steve

    Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black!

    April 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Indy

    The choice would be to believe the Republicans who have done nothing but lie for the past 9 years or do your own research and deal only with the facts. Anyone with an ounce of honesty will find out that the plans are almost identical, and if the Repulicans are now saying the only difference is that Romney's plan was not state wide, then they have a lot of back peddling to do on their previous lies and assaults on the bill. The affordability is simple in that it is not affordable to go without any longer.Republicans always find ways to spend on everything but middle class and this time someone is actually trying to do something for people instead of the coprorations like Republicans do. Wars are not affordable either and the taxpayers foot the health care coverage for non citizens in those cases. If one was to wait until health care was affordable no country in the world would have it, there is never a time when it is affordable, but it does have to be done because the cost of going without is more.

    April 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. BobH

    I am curious about his statement regarding the framers of our republic wanting the states to be laboratories of innovation and competition.

    Anyone have a reference or other information on that? Sounds unlikely, but I'm willing to be convinced.

    April 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. chill

    I seriously doubt that the Framers gave any thought at all to the states being "laboratories for creative thoughts and ideas". But then Rubio is not noted for accuracy. His is a distinction without a difference. While I don't agree with their prescription, at least the CATO people are intellectually honest.

    April 19, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Whimsy1

    Another instance of the politicians in the Republican Party being caught yet again as the hypocrites they have become. Romney's plan, although identical to Obama's is o.k. because Romney is a Republican and Obama is not. Rubio's claim that Romney's plan didn't raise taxes or add to the federal government's deficit are specious because of course a state's plan isn't on the federal budget.

    April 19, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Dgideon

    Oh so it is fine if a state decides to force you to do something but it is completely different if the Federal government forces you to do something. What a hypocritical and disingenuous position Rubio is trying to peddle.

    April 19, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Josh

    What a couple of ding bats. Rubio is one far right wing nut who has sold his soul to the extremist radicals in his party. I will be voting Democrat in November. Rubio and Romney deserve each other, flip and flop.

    April 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. sd

    Rubio is a joke backed by jokers. For someone obsessed with fiscal responsibility , he had no problem using the party credit card for personal use. Same with Palin, she had no problem spending the taxpayer's money for personal stuff..(the state made her pay it back). These people are just a bunch of looney hypocrites that preach to the fringe elements that are too stupid to know the difference.

    April 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Zed

    If states are laboratories, then the Massachusetts "experiment" proved that reform is useless as a cost container without any sort of guaranteed competition or public option.

    Obamacare is not adding to the deficit, because it imposes taxes on union workers' super pricey Cadillac plans, cosmetic operations, and removes exemptions from the tax code. These are fair. Why should I have to pay these taxes (higher costs, sales taxes, Medicare taxes) but other people do not?

    April 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Ryan

    It's only different because President Obama is awesome.

    April 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. GG

    "My number-one objection to Obamacare is that we can't afford it, even if it was the greatest idea in the world."

    As a Canadian observer, I am appalled, but not surprised, that the Republicans are so open to putting a price on human life. I guess Rubio, the GOP and the Tea Partiers would prefer to let (previously) uninsured/poor Americans deal with their own health problems, even if they can't afford it.

    And don't fool me by saying the Democrats did not try to work in a bipartisan fashion. I have yet to see any real GOP alternatives. If there are any better alternatives to the new health care laws, it seems like it will only come from the Democratic Party.

    So much for the Republicans defending your constitution's guarantee for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    April 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Jim

    Mr. Rubio, why are you being so hypocritical in criticizing Pres. Obama's healthcare reform while praising Romney's? Isn't our recently passed healthcare reform also a "work in progress?"

    One, healthcare is a national problem that cannot be left entirely to the states; people move from state to state! Two, the eeform strikes a balance between federal and state involvement; states will continue to regulate insurers, and the new exchanges will be at the state level. Three, the Congressional Budget Office said the reform will LOWER the deficit. Four, the reform includes proactive initiatives to emphasize preventive care and lower medical delivery costs.

    April 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. Kobie

    Floridians would be crazy to vote for this clown. He's playing politics in the ugliest of ways. If the common voter can't see the deceit in what Rubio says when making the distinction between Obamacare and Romneycare, then you deserve what you get.

    April 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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