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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott's Trumpcare talking points are shifting

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks about his budget proposals during a pre-legislative news conference on Jan. 31 in Tallahassee.

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks about his budget proposals during a pre-legislative news conference on Jan. 31 in Tallahassee.



If you had any doubt about the uncertain and difficult path ahead for the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, just look at how Florida's governor has changed his tune about the topic. Keep in mind, Scott lives by talking points and disciplined, repetitive messaging, so deviations tend to mean more with him than most human beings.

The forrmer health care corporate executive whose political career started as a critic of President Clinton's and President Obama's health carfe reform efforts, had been telling reporters since last Fall that he was closely advising President and President-elect Trump and his /transition/administration about how to fix and improve the health care system. 

On March 8, Florida's governor sounded enthusiastic about the plan released by fellow Republicans in the U.S. House: "This is way better than Obamacare.....This is a great starting point, and I know we're going to keep working on it," he told Fox News.

The next day, as the criticism of the proposal increased from the right and left alike, Scott sounded decidedly more tepid: "This is a work in progress, there is a proposal on the table, now everyone is going to weigh in with their ideas, and hopefully it'll continue to get bet," he told a Jacksonville TV station.

This week Scott would barely discuss the proposal, let alone endorse it. From the AP's Gary Fineout:

Instead he said Tuesday, "I'm encouraged that there's a real good conservation going on up in D.C."

"I know there's a debate about all the numbers, I'm going to continue to work on getting a good bill," said Scott, who also met with House Speaker Paul Ryan last week to discuss the health care legislation.

Scott would not answer specific questions on the new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that estimates the GOP plan would increase the ranks of the uninsured by 14 million people next year alone, and 24 million over a decade. He is also refusing to delve into the possible impact the bill may have on Florida's Medicaid program, which relies on billions in federal aid each year.

[Last modified: Friday, March 17, 2017 8:34am]


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