Marco Rubio’s market-based health care program was supposed to prove that the Republican ideas for health care reform can work. Instead, only 80 people have signed up compared to the 1.6 million Floridians enrolled in the ACA exchange.
Rubio’s plan, which predates the ACA, was designed to put the conservative ideas about healthcare reform into practice. The result has been a multi-million dollar program that nobody wants.
By the Feb. 15 Obamacare enrollment deadline, Florida Health Choices had signed up 56 individuals, and as of the middle of this week it had gained 24 more, CEO Rose Naff said in an interview. The state has set aside $2.4 million for the exchange since 2008 — an initial $1.5 million infusion that year and $900,000 in 2013.
Rubio spokeswoman Brooke Sammon said the senator continues to support a “true free-market exchange,” and she blamed Obamacare’s subsidies for luring buyers away from Florida Health Choices.
“What’s in Obamacare is neither free-market or truly an exchange,” she said. “It is unfortunate that this disastrous health care law is impacting the Florida Health Choices program, which is exactly the kind of consumer-based health care solution Americans are looking for.”
In case you missed, Rubio’s spokesperson used a version of the Republican line that people just want free stuff as an excuse for why the Republican plan has bombed. How the Rubio camp can suggest that people really do want their version of healthcare reform when they are outnumbered 1.6 million to 80 is an example of extreme ideological delusion.
The failed Rubio program demonstrates that people aren’t fooled by the substandard options that Republicans have mislabeled healthcare reform for decades. The marketplace has spoken, and the Affordable Care Act offers Floridians a better product at a lower cost.
Sen. Rubio has omitted Florida Health Choices from his campaign because the program’s failure confirms that Democrats are right. When given the choice between the health care reform of the ACA, and a GOP sham like Florida Health Choices, consumers will reject the Republican plan.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association