A new PolitiFact report shows Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act could dismantle health care protections for millions of Floridians who have pre-existing conditions.
Citing the Kaiser Family Foundation, PolitiFact, an independent fact-checker run by the Poynter Institute, reported that about 2.1 million Floridians in total could be impacted if the law, commonly known as Obamacare, was repealed.
Scott, a term-limited Republican who is in a tight battle against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, has attempted to walk a fine line with respect to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions in recent months.
Now, as the Trump administration and several attorneys general, including Florida’s Pam Bondi, are suing to gut protections for pre-existing conditions, Scott is walking back from previous support for repealing the law entirely, including the protections that are the focus of the ongoing federal litigation.
However, as PolitiFact noted, Scott has been a “longtime supporter of repealing the law that enshrines them, which means he’s pursuing a policy that endangers those protections.”
In 2009, Scott dismissed the need to cover pre-existing conditions. In an interview with Sean Hannity, Scott said that “if you own your own policy from the time you’re 25, pre-existing conditions would never be an issue.”
In a 2012 interview on NPR, Scott added “the pre-existing issue would go away” if you “start buying your own policy.” Scott repeated those claims several more times over the years.
As an advisor to President Donald Trump on health care, Scott recommended a complete repeal of ACA, even before dealing with pre-existing conditions protections. Scott later supported Senate legislation that would have gutted pre-existing conditions protections, saying it was “way better than Obamacare.”
That legislation failed to pass the Senate in July 2017.