Like many Republicans, Gov. Rick Scott has repealing Obamacare on the brain now that President Barack Obama is leaving office. On Monday, Scott penned a letter to Congress calling for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to repeal and replace the president's controversial healthcare law.
“For far too long, it has been fashionable in Washington to say Obamacare can only be tweaked,” Scott wrote. “We have seen debate after debate in Washington about this bad law but nothing has been changed.”
The time, Scott said, is now.
The Affordable Care Act, Scott wrote, has been particularly devastating in the Sunshine State. While the overall number of uninsured patients has dropped significantly from 16 percent in 2010 to nearly 9 percent in mid-2016, many patients say their premiums are too high.
In Florida, Scott pointed to skyrocketing costs and patients being unable to keep their doctors as just some of the reasons the plan has been a failure.
“We can do better and the families and businesses footing the bill deserve better,” Scott wrote.
The governor has been a fierce critic of President Barack Obama since he first took office in Tallahassee in 2010. A new day could be dawning for Scott, though -- Obama waves goodbye to the White House next week and the governor is already planning his next move.
Scott seems to have found a friend in the new presidential administration. The governor said he has met with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Scott also said he has been in contact with incoming Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price about “getting rid of this bad law.”
In the five-page letter, Scott outlined four key components to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Getting rid of the individual and employer mandates and replacing them with a coverage option where members can select a silver plan under the current Obamacare arrangement. Removing the individual and employer mandates, Scott said, would encourage healthy people to get coverage and reward healthy behaviors.
Scott also proposed allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, reducing state-to-state administrative expenses.
“We have to open up the market and create more competition,” Scott wrote.
Scott pushed for allowing greater flexibility in benefit package designs and also said families should be able to choose one insurance plan that works for everyone rather than putting children into different plans than their parents.
Reforming Medicaid was also a priority in Scott’s letter, an action he said would allow the Sunshine State greater flexibility to improve patients’ access to Medicaid.
“The time for major change in health care is now - not in 6 months or two years,” Scott wrote.