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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing Poll: 1 in 5 US adults report trouble affording prescription drugs 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 SandersBernie SandersDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Overnight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment 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 McCarthyHouse Republicans prepare for public impeachment proceedings with mock hearing Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Calif.) called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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!’”