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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio plans to hit Obamacare hard across Florida this month



Sen. Marco Rubio is taking a week off with family but is planning a hard-charging return to the Obamacare wars.

Rubio plans various stops across Florida to discuss the law over the next few weeks, including a meeting with grassroots conservatives. Later in the month he'll address the Americans for Prosperity gathering in Orlando. Other events focused on the health care law are still being planned, aides say.

"On Oct. 1, Obamacare is going to be on top of us," Rubio said during a tea party gathering in Washington last week to discuss a summer strategy on the health care law. He was referring to when the insurance marketplaces begin enrollment. "This is our last best chance to act. I hope we can create enough intensity behind it that we can get some people to change their minds about using this short-term budget as an opportunity to stop this from moving forward."

As he hits the trail, Rubio might want to brush up on the facts; PolitiFact has dinged him for several inaccurate statements regarding the law. And while the effort may energize the base, it's not attracting widespread support on Capitol Hill and Republican governors are worried it could be politically damaging.

“You cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it," Rubio said Monday on the Mark Levin radio show. "If you’re willing to fund this thing, you can’t possibly say you’re against it.”

Still not on Rubio's agenda: Immigration.

Rubio has kept a distance from the issue since the Senate passed its bill in June. It's hurt him among conservative activists. But Rubio insisted he wasn't abandoning it all together.

"The House has the issue now so they're going to have to figure out what they can support and they deserve the time and space to do that," he said. "We're curious to see what they do, but it's up to them now to kind of move forward on it."

On Aug. 13, Rubio will attend a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee field hearing to discuss the effect of decreased water flows on Apalachicola Bay. Florida has long battled Alabama and Georgia over flows of fresh water to the area.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 11:02am]


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