Gov. Rick Scott said he is focused on improving the U.S. House’s health care bill because the existing Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is beyond repair.

 

“Obamacare is a mess,” he said. “Premiums have gone up; they haven’t gone down. People lost their doctor. So we’ve got something that spiraled downward. To me (President Barack) Obama left in the nick of time.”


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Scott, who is in Washington for a second day, spoke to the Times-Union this morning before a meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio. The governor said he was encouraged by conversations he had Wednesday, including with Speaker Paul Ryan, about the new House plan called the American Health Care Act.

Scott said he has been providing input to representatives based on his experience in the healthcare industry. His main focus is making sure health care costs are decreased under the House plan, and he would also like to see more options available for Americans so they can decide what works best for them.

Scott also wants the ensure that Florida doesn’t see any reductions in funding related to the Legislature’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He is also having conversations about a separate issue: changing the Medicaid program so states receive lump sums based on the number of eligible people, called per capita caps, or fixed amounts via block grants.

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee signed off on the American Health Care Act early Thursday morning after a party-line vote. The measure also has the support of President Donald Trump.

However, Democrats and some Republican senators say they are concerned the new plan will cover fewer Americans. The Congressional Budge Office has not yet completed a full analysis of the House plan or its financial impact.

“This is a work in progress,” Scott said, “but it already is much better than Obamacare.”