Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis announced his long-awaited health care plan in Wednesday night’s debate, an issue Democrats had wanted answers on for the nine months since the northeast Florida candidate announced his campaign.
In the plan, DeSantis vowed to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, to offer better training and retention for nurses and other health care workers, to support seniors, bolster safety net hospitals, and fight opioid addiction.
In a campaign year where Democrats are messaging heavily against the longstanding mantra of Republicans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, and in a campaign where the Republican has voted against said health care, it was clear as soon as the plan was pushed live that Democrats would counter-message.
And that’s exactly what Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Michael Blake did in Jacksonville Thursday.
Just hours before Vice President Mike Pence was slated to appear at a Jacksonville rally for DeSantis, Blake issued a blunt message: DeSantis’ health care plan was too little, too late.
“Twelve days from the election,” Blake said, “what we have seen from Ron DeSantis is completely avoiding this critical conversation.
“How dare you disrespect the people of Florida by releasing in the middle of the night a health care plan we’ve been repeatedly asking for?”
Blake, an alumnus of the Obama White House, called the ‘DeSantiscare’ plan a “sham and a disgrace,” showing evidence of a “lack of seriousness” on the Republican’s part.
“It is clear: Andrew Gillum wants to make sure you have health care, and Ron DeSantis wants to take it away,” Blake said.
“Trump, Pence, Ryan, McConnell, DeSantis, they’re all trying to take your health care away,” Blake added, calling it “reprehensible.”
Blake noted that he had not seen, in 34 states he’s visited as vice-chair, this kind of “absolute disregard” regarding the rollout of a health care plan.
“You can’t be serious at all if you’re releasing a plan in the middle of a debate,” Blake added.
“Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis are liars. They do not care about you having access to health care,” Blake continued. “They’ve talked about and voted on taking away your health care.”
“Trying to say now ‘we care about your health’ is absurdity,” Blake added.
Blake is the latest Democrat to condemn the DeSantis plan.
“After 268 days without a healthcare plan, Ron DeSantis finally released a sham of a proposal that puts special interests over the health of Floridians and denies coverage to people with pre-existing conditions,” Gillum for Governor Communications Director Johanna Cervone said.
“Now, in the final days of his lagging campaign, DeSantis has cobbled together a sham of a healthcare proposal that would allow insurance companies to charge unaffordable prices to Floridians with pre-existing conditions.
“Adding insult to injury, DeSantis’ ‘plan’ would put Floridians at risk by allowing them to be ripped off by ‘junk plans’ that offer coverage from big insurance companies in name only,” Cervone added.