When David Jolly defeated Alex Sink in the special election for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, his criticism of Obamacare was front and center of his campaign.
But the politics of health care have changed over the past four years, Jolly told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday night – and they certainly have for him. After losing to Democrat Charlie Crist in a redrawn CD 13 last fall, Jolly says his own personal circumstances had changed when he left office at the beginning of this year, and he was grateful that the Affordable Care Act was available to him and his wife as a “safety net.”
“On January 4th, I was a former member of Congress, unemployed with no health insurance and a pre-existing condition,” Jolly said on “The Last Word”.
“And while I ultimately chose a private sector plan, I also knew that in 2017 that Obamacare provided an exchange that was a safety net that wasn’t there before, and to be honest with you, if I had to rely on it, I knew it was there, and that’s why the politics of Obamacare in 2017 are different are different in 2013,” Jolly said. “I lost my doctor and I lost my plan in 2013 and I was angry about Obamacare and I ran for Congress, but in 2017, as an unemployed person with a pre-existing condition, I knew that Obamacare was there as a safety net if my wife and I needed it.”
The former Pinellas Congressman is hardly the only American to take a more positive look at Obamacare as the Republican Congress gets closer to repealing it.
Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 51 percent of U.S. adults in support of the ACA, while 41 percent hold an unfavorable view. This is the first month that favorability has tipped over the 50 percent mark since Kaiser Family Foundation began tracking attitudes on the law in 2010.
Jolly says he is still considering a rematch against Crist in 2018, and will make his decision early next year.
You can watch the exchange below with Jolly, O’Donnell, and Vox.com editor Ezra Klein beginning at the 5:00 minute mark.