Florida governor pushes for ObamaCare repeal on ‘day one’

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is ramping up pressure on Republicans in Congress to aggressively and immediately pursue a repeal of ObamaCare, despite any politically damaging effects.
Scott said he made the case for a swift, full repeal of the healthcare law during a meeting Tuesday with Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
“I want to have a repeal as quickly as we can get it done. Day one would be nice for me,” Scott told reporters outside a downtown Washington, D.C., building being used by Trump’s transition team.
{mosads}Calling for an immediate repeal of the sprawling healthcare law, Scott stands out from some of his Republican counterparts on Capitol Hill. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), among others, has acknowledged it would take at least a year to create a viable alternative.
Scott struck a hard line about fully repealing the law but didn’t say whether he would support existing protections within the law — like covering people with pre-existing conditions — as Trump and Ryan have.
“I know a lot of people in Washington say you can’t replace it; it has to be tweaked. The truth is it has to be replaced if you want people to have access to good quality healthcare,” Scott said.
Still, Scott declined to say by which year he believed the GOP should repeal ObamaCare, and whether it should be done by the 2018 midterms. Scott said he and Price did not specifically discuss the timeline.
Scott’s spokeswoman said Tuesday he’s not interviewing for a job in the Trump administration, but the governor made clear that he was eying an informal leadership role.  

“I hope to be the liaison with governors,” Scott said.

GOP staffers in Congress have asked governors in recent weeks to personally weigh in on issues like Medicaid expansion and ObamaCare marketplaces. The National Governors Association has also said it plans to take a “very, very active” role in shaping the plans.

“Governors all across the country, Republicans and Democrats, all know we’ve got to reform ObamaCare if we’re going to be able to continue to grow this economy,” Scott added.

Scott is a former hospital executive and has been a vocal critic of ObamaCare.

The governor met with Trump within weeks of the election to help shape a replacement, though he has offered few details about what that should look like.

He stressed “more state flexibility” for programs like Medicaid, the entitlement program for people with very low incomes or disabilities.

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