Rubio: ObamaCare a 'disaster'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: Turkey attack 'directed' by ISIS Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office GOP mega-donor: Trump would cause 'global depression' MORE (R-Fla.) called ObamaCare a "disaster" on Thursday as Republicans went to the Senate floor to counter a speech by the president defending his healthcare law. 

"The reason why this issue is still being talked about is that this law is a disaster," Rubio said. "The problem is ObamaCare as a solution is really a massive government take over of the healthcare system and it doesn’t fix the problem it makes things worse and that’s why we keep talking about it."

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Rubio joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate passes Puerto Rico debt relief bill Senate Appropriations speeds through spending bills The Trail 2016: When a pivot isn’t always a pivot MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico McConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill MORE (R-Texas) and John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP senator: Obama ‘believes he is above the law’ Republican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on MORE (R-Wyo.) in calling for a full repeal of the healthcare law.

“If the administration is concerned with saving people money on their healthcare, I have some advice for them,” McConnell said. “Work with us to repeal ObamaCare and start over — work with us to implement common-sense, step-by-step reforms that can actually lower costs.”

Rubio has called on his fellow Republicans to oppose any bill to fund the government that includes money for ObamaCare.

"Anyone who votes for a short-term budget that funds ObamaCare is not against ObamaCare," Rubio said. "If you pay for it you own it." 

McConnell said Obama was trying to "spin" people on the healthcare law in arguing that they will be able to save on insurance costs under ObamaCare.

“This is just another sad attempt by the administration to spin them into wanting a law they don’t,” he said ahead of Obama’s speech. “Jacking up our constituents’ healthcare costs is bad enough, but to try to then convince them the opposite is happening — that they’ve actually won some Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes, well, it’s just as absurd as it sounds. It’s an insult, really.”

McConnell said he expected Obama to talk about checks the public could expect in the mail to help them pay for the health insurance they will be required to buy or face a penalty.

“Most things in life that sound too good to be true very often are,” McConnell said. “And, in this case, it’s not so much that people will be getting free money, as that most people will be paying many dollars more for their healthcare and maybe — just maybe — getting a few bucks back.”

McConnell argued that because healthcare premiums are increasing, the checks wouldn’t truly help families with their healthcare expenses.

This post was updated at noon to add Rubio's remarks.

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