Florida's junior senator, Marco Rubio, was in the state last week promising to stop the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health care law passed in 2010. But citizens, even Rubio's fellow Republicans, should be wary of Rubio's vow.
Rubio and some members of Congress would accomplish their goal of defunding "Obamacare" by courting a shutdown of the federal government.
It's time for both Democrats and Republicans in Washington -- including Obama and Rubio -- to stop playing these high-stakes budget games. Such games could mean disaster for the economy.
There have been about 40 votes to repeal Obamacare. Since the Democrats control the White House and the U.S. Senate, the bills never go far. Now, Republicans, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, see a strategy in pulling the funding for the health care program from an upcoming federal budget.
This strategy is bad politics and bad policy.
To be fair, Rubio says he does not mention a government shutdown. Rubio notes Obama is the one threatening to do that with his veto pen. But Rubio knows the consequences of defunding Obamacare, the president's signature law, in the budget process. Rubio is using this opportunity to score political points after seeing the GOP lose the 2012 election, which was some vindication for Obamacare.
The Republican loss in 2012, of course, does not mean there won't or shouldn't be future opportunities to tweak or reform Obamacare, or repeal it entirely.
But if a government shutdown happens, there will be no political points to garner. There will be three losers: the Republicans, the Democrats and the economic recovery.