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Rubio: Delay IRS Penalties Until ObamaCare Websites Work

Oct 23, 2013 | Press Releases

Interview on “The O’Reilly Factor”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
October 22, 2013

Senator Marco Rubio: “It’s pretty straightforward. It’s unfair that on the one hand you are telling people that if they don’t buy insurance next year the IRS is going to come after them with a fine. It’s unfair to say that to them and then turn around and make it so difficult, or impossible, for them to buy that health insurance. So what the bill would basically say is that the ObamaCare website has to be up and functioning for six consecutive months before they can begin to enforce this individual mandate on people. How you can punish people for not buying something that is impossible to buy because of the inability of this website to function because of government incompetence?”

FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly: “How do you see this bill coming? I would imagine every Republican senator would vote for it, but are you going to able to peel off some Democrats to do that? Maybe Manchin of West Virginia would do it, but I don’t know anybody else.”

Rubio: “Well, I think they’re going to have to do this no matter what and it’s a question of when they’re going to finally admit to that. Now look, I actually don’t think this is a partisan thing. I think no matter how you may feel about ObamaCare – I certainly would like to see it repealed and replaced, others may disagree – but no matter how you may feel about ObamaCare, this is not about that. This is about the fact that it is unfair that you are going to punish people, that you are going to send the IRS after people.”

O’Reilly: “Now, will your bill contain the provision that if you want to sign up for ObamaCare now you certainly can, it’s just that you don’t have to and you won’t be punished. So that gives everybody the option of, ‘Yeah, I will do it’ or ‘I won’t do it’, and as you said, when they get the glitches out of the software so that people can efficiently decide what they want to do, then you can do the mandatory deal. That is fair. But politics being as it — you know, what I said is true: It’s not about ObamaCare. You know that Senator, this is about the whole entitlement culture. It’s a much bigger thing.”

Rubio: “Right. The issue of ObamaCare is about a much broader agenda to inject more government control over our lives and over our economy. But I’m dealing right now with a very focused issue. Let me give you an example. On this very day in Florida, it was announced that 300,000 people are going to lose their individual coverage because of ObamaCare. Now those people next year, they don’t have health insurance. They are going to owe the IRS money in the form of a fine. Where are they supposed to go now and buy that health insurance if the website isn’t working, if Consumer Reports is telling people to avoid the website? So, what this bill does is it says basically this: until that website is certified to be functioning, you cannot enforce this on people. It’s simply not fair.”

O’Reilly: “Did you see the polls today saying, you know, that the Tea Party, 25% of Americans approve, 75% don’t approve and the Republican Party is not much better, maybe 30%, 32% approve? You think that’s a real troubling situation for you guys?”

Rubio: “You know, these polls fluctuate. They come and go. I mean, if we lived our lives based on polls, you know, we wouldn’t be able to do anything else. The bottom line is that we have some very serious issues that this country is confronting. You’ve outlined some of them in your Talking Points Memo tonight. But at the basis of all of this is that the American Dream as we know it, what makes our country special, it’s being eroded and we’re running out of time to do something about it. And I certainly feel like people in my party are fighting on the right side of that.”