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 GrassleyTrump's latest plan to boost ethanol miffs both corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Syria furor underscores Trump's isolation GOP braces for impeachment brawl 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 SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years 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 McCarthy10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble MORE (R-Calif.) called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? 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!’”