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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio enrolls family in Obamacare exchange



One of Obamacare's biggest critics is now officially covered under the federal health care exchange: Sen. Marco Rubio.

"Senator Rubio spent time looking at all the options and decided to enroll through the D.C. exchange for coverage for him and his family," spokeswoman Brooke Sammon told the Buzz.

Rubio took the federal subsidy afforded to lawmakers and staff — a perk worth up to 75 percent of monthly premium costs — that some Republicans wanted to kill off. Some lawmakers who have enrolled in the exchange (The Washington Post is keeping a list) have rejected the taxpayer-funded employer contribution, which is far more generous than most workers get.

Sammon did not say what led Rubio to decide the health care plan was better than what he could have gotten on his own. But those who wanted to keep their employer coverage — and that subsidy — were directed to use the exchange, called DC Health Link. In addition to the subsidy, Rubio and other federal employees also got to pick from far more plans than ordinary people and had access to special customer service to ease their sign ups.

"Senator Rubio is following the law, even though he opposes it," Sammon said.

That Rubio even had to join an exchange is thanks to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who pushed an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that Democrats called him on. As the law headed toward implementation there was a question about the subsidy, fears growing among Hill staffers who were facing big increases, but the Obama administration stepped in and said it would continue the benefit. That saved Rubio and his family a lot, no doubt.

Sen. Bill Nelson bought his policy on the exchange last week and will also have Medicare Part A, a spokesman said.

Note: This post has been updated.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 1:55am]


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