In a story that underscores the challenges the GOP faces in presenting a conservative alternative to the party's bete noire, Politico reports that a Marco Rubio-backed plan to create a market-based system to reduce the rate of uninsured Floridians and bring down health care costs has signed up all of 80 people as of this week.
In contrast, ObamaCare has extended coverage to 1.6 million residents of the Sunshine State. Here's Politico on the dismal numbers:
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. [Politico]
Rubio backed the plan in 2008, as speaker of the Florida House.