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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist: 'Thank you, Senator Rubio, for your endorsement of the new health care law'



Reacting to news Sen. Marco Rubio enrolled his family in Obamacare, and took the generous federal subsidy, Charlie Crist whipped up this column his campaign is shopping around to news outlets. Crist says Rubio endorsed the law but that's off the mark. Lawmakers were basically shoved off (thanks to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley) their gold-plated health care plans and sent to the Obamacare exchange. Rubio chose that over selecting coverage in the free market -- which would have denied him the subsidy. Of that subsidy, a form of the employer contribution most of us get, Rubio said he would support efforts to get rid of it. (That won't happen.)

UPDATE: Rubio's spokesman responds (see below)

Writes Crist:

Senator Marco Rubio’s endorsement of Obamacare for his own family should end the rhetoric coming from Governor Rick Scott and other tea party groups. As many news outlets reported recently, in addition to enrolling his family through the new exchange, Rubio is also receiving federal subsidies – this is good news for his family.

The rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act has clearly been flawed, but that doesn’t mean that our work towards affordable health care should end. It should continue. We should always strive to ensure that the people have access to affordable care.

I also hope Rubio’s endorsement of the new health care exchanges for his own family will spur Governor Rick Scott to have courage when it comes to Florida’s uninsured. Scott has seemingly flip-flopped from his own endorsement of extending health care coverage to low-income, uninsured, working Floridians. That doesn’t just hurt the health of Floridians; it hurts our entire economy and jobs. It denies $51 billion worth of investment in the people of Florida. This is likely merely to avoid political attacks from the irrational and extreme tea party wing of the Republican Party.

As Governor, I always worked to be the People’s Governor. That means not pandering to the extreme right or extreme left, but just doing what’s right. It seems like that’s the standard Marco Rubio takes with his own family. It’s unfortunate that he and Rick Scott don’t think as highly of the people they are supposed to be serving.

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Instead of ignoring this reality, Governor Rick Scott should be trying to figure out how to make the law best work for the people. Instead, he’s directing the Republican Party to use the issue to scare people who are excited about affordable healthcare, like Marco Rubio and his family.

Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee should stop the political knife fight and figure out what’s actually best for the people. That’s what Marco Rubio did for his own family. That’s what Rick Scott should do for the people of Florida.

Thank you, Senator Rubio, for your endorsement of the new health care law.

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant provided statement to Miami Herald: “As a trial lawyer, Charlie Crist should know the difference between following the law and endorsing it. Maybe this will help: the country is now deeper in debt because of the laws Charlie Crist endorsed, while millions of Floridians are paying more in taxes because they're following the laws Charlie Crist signed as Governor.”

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[Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 5:44pm]


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