El Jefe

Rubio on Obamacare: Only 14 to 15 Percent Have Paid (Video)

Florida Sen. and Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio just can't stop himself. Though Obamacare exceeded its goal by signing up more than 7 million people nationally by the April 1 deadline, Rubio told Sean Hannity:

"There's still a significant number of people -- I saw a report a couple days ago that said that only 14 to 15 percent of the people who had signed up [had] paid. So you've got a substantial number of people that haven't even paid into this. I mean, signing up is not the issue; you still have to get people that are going to make their monthly payments."

On Fox News' Hannity, Rubio and the conservative host glad-handed each other for longer than most right-minded human beings could bear, exaggerating the amount of time the website was not not functional and confirming each others' views about the new health insurance program.

You might have thought they would have mentioned that just a few days ago, conservatives including Hannity were badgering Obama by claiming he would never make the 7 million signups.

Remember, the large majority of states -- including Florida -- sabotaged Obamacare by not setting up their own exchanges, as suggested, which left the federal website to unexpectedly carry the bulk of the load.

Rubio went on to say, "The bottom line is they have disrupted the entire health-care marketplace for all Americans, and all they have to show for it is a small, minuscule dent in the number of people that were uninsured that are now insured."

I guess Rubio doesn't remember that just a few years ago, his party was noting that health-care inflation was about to sink the country. That inflation has, just with the threat of Obamacare, virtually ceased.

Finally Rubio made a prediction, that the number of Obamacare participants is not going to grow: "You're going to see the number of people that have signed up not continuing to increase. And that too is going to truly undermine the ability of these exchanges to survive."

At least Rubio is consistent. More than a year ago, he complained that the government was spending $8.7 million on TV buys to get people to sign up. Back then, as now, he called the law fundamentally flawed. Of course, what he didn't say is that the government usually spends that kind of money on Medicare commercials each year to get the elderly to sign up.

So, Marco, I suppose Medicare is fatally flawed too?

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse