Rick Scott to introduce amendment protecting pre-existing conditions amid ObamaCare fight

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is set to introduce an amendment to the budget Thursday to protect health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Though the budget is a nonbinding document, the move comes as Republican senators seek to regain their footing after being caught off guard by the Trump administration’s renewed push to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) first announced Monday that it was siding with a district court ruling that found the whole Affordable Care Act unconstitutional after previously arguing only the law's pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. The surprise decision comes after Democrats around the country centered their campaigns on health care, helping usher in a 40-seat wave in the House.

“I don’t think there was any heads-up on anything that he was going to say,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The 7 most interesting nuggets from the Mueller report Government report says new NAFTA would have minimal impact on economy MORE (R-Iowa), whose panel has jurisdiction over health care, said.

“It doesn’t seem to make sense politically,” another Republican senator told The Hill.

Democrats have already pounced on the DOJ’s announcement ahead of the 2020 election cycle.

“I, frankly, do not understand why Republicans seem to have such a hatred toward providing health care to the American people,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers MORE (I-Vt.), the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee and a top-tier 2020 presidential candidate, said. 

Senate Republicans in the last congressional session tried and failed three times to pass varying ObamaCare repeal plans despite having a majority in the upper chamber. Multiple media outlets reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyWatchdog: Custodial staff alleged sexual harassment in lawmakers' offices John Legend, Chrissy Teigen lash out at Trump at Dem retreat Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ MORE (R-Calif.) called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE to drop his effort to repeal the entire law.

“If you look at past history, we don’t really know how to do it,” a Republican senator told The Hill, referring to broad health care legislation.

However, Trump appears determined to dismantle Obama’s signature legislation, vowing Tuesday that “The Republican Party will become ‘The Party of Healthcare!’”