Ron DeSantis, who in the Congress voted three times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is now promising a less costly, “better plan” of his own to “supersede” it while bashing Donald Trump for failing to fulfill his vow to “repeal and replace” the popular health care legislation. He also ducked a question on whether he would sign a federal abortion ban but promised to restrict access in other ways.
During a Meet the Press interview on Sunday, the Florida governor claimed that his plan would “lower prices” but offered no concrete details about how he would make that happen. DeSantis’ track record on this issue is not great. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Florida ranks among the five most expensive states for health care in the U.S., and he has prevented Floridians from accessing necessary health care, including gender-affirming care for trans youth and abortions.
WELKER: Can tell me what specifically your health care plan is and what the plan is to ensure the 40m people who now have health insurance through Obamacare keep it?
DeSANTIS: Well, we're gonna be working on it. Probably in the spring we'll roll out a big proposal. pic.twitter.com/T6WBf0bW0T
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 3, 2023
“Former President Trump said he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, something he tried and failed to do when he was president,” host Kristen Welker said. “You were in Congress at the time. If you were president, would it be your plan to try to repeal and replace Obamacare, something you voted to eliminate three times?”
“You’re right. President Trump promised that he would repeal and replace Obamacare. And he didn’t do it. And that was a promise that he made a lot of times,” said the governor, who trails Trump in the polls by nearly 50 points, according to 538’s average.
DeSantis continued, “This is part of a pattern, where [Trump is] running on things that he didn’t do. Here’s what I will do. What I think we’re going to need to do is have a plan that will supersede Obamacare, that will lower prices for people so that they can afford healthcare while also making sure that people will preexisting conditions are protected. And we’re going to look at the big institutions that are causing prices to be high: Big Pharma, big insurance, and big government. But it’s going to need to be where you have a reform package that’s going to be put in place.”
When Welker asked how DeSantis would ensure those enrolled in ACA plans would keep their insurance, he offered yet another vague answer: “Well, we’re gonna be working on it. Probably in the spring we’ll roll out a big proposal. I’ve got a lot of input that’s been coming in from a lot of good people around the country. But we will definitely be addressing insurance, we’ll definitely be addressing big government, and we will be addressing Big Pharma.”
A 2022 Forbes analysis of Kaiser Family Foundation data ranked Florida the fourth most expensive state for health care, and Floridians were the fifth most likely state population to skip seeing the doctor in the last 12 months due to cost.
DeSantis has also signed a law making it a felony for doctors to provide gender-affirming health care to transgender children, even if they seek treatment outside the state of Florida. And he instituted a ban on abortion procedures after only six weeks gestation, which is before many even know they are pregnant. During the Covid pandemic, he sued the Biden administration over vaccination mandates for federal workers and banned mask mandates in schools.
WATCH: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) — who signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida — says he supports federal abortion rules that "would have consensus.”
But DeSantis says, "Congress is not going to do any type of abortion legislation." pic.twitter.com/5T6YW5iiDu
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 3, 2023
When Welker pressed DeSantis on whether he would sign a six week federal abortion ban, the governor refused to answer, instead saying that “Congress is not going to do any type of abortion legislation.” But he did say he would restrict access to abortion in other ways, including prohibiting “taxpayer funding for abortion,” ending Pentagon reimbursements for abortion care and “protect[ing] the rights of states to enact pro-life protections.”
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