Although Bill Nelson has never talked about supporting single-payer health care, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC) is going after him in a new digital ad running in Florida tying him to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who recently has come out in support of such a proposal.
Citing Warren’s recent comments about getting behind a single-payer plan, the ad’s narrator says such a system “would be absolutely devastating for Florida families and businesses.” Next, the ad notes that Nelson “has followed Warren in near-lockstep in the Senate, voting with his good friend 90 percent of the time. Will he also support Warren’s socialized health care plan?”
The ad then notes that Nelson “has followed Warren in near-lockstep in the Senate, voting with his good friend 90 percent of the time,” before asking: “Will he also support Warren’s socialized health care plan?”
Nelson has never supported single-payer, however. In fact, he said in Tampa earlier this week that his goal would be for the Republicans and Democrats to come together to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act. He is opposed to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the legislation.
“What we ought to be doing is fixing the existing law, instead of repealing it,” Nelson said, adding that the partisan politics in Washington when it comes to health care is a “sad commentary, but that is what we’re facing.”
“Bill Nelson and Elizabeth Warren are two peas in a pod, but Florida families can’t afford a $32 trillion health care boondoggle,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin. “Floridians deserve to know if Bill is going to sacrifice their well-being to support Elizabeth Warren and her extreme government-run health care plan.”
Warren told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that it’s time for Democrats to campaign on single-payer in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
“President Obama tried to move us forward with health care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts,” Warren said Tuesday. “Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.”
The NRSC wants to take down Nelson, one of 23 Democrats in the Senate up for reelection next year, and he is certainly considered vulnerable, particularly if Gov. Rick Scott and his tens of millions of dollars enter the race to challenge him.
Speaking to reporters in Tampa earlier this week, Nelson said he looked forward to the challenge.
“I like the contrast because there’s a lot of contrast between his positions and mine and even our styles,” Nelson said.
Watch the ad below: