Forward Majority Action’s misinformation campaign has started hitting Clearwater mailboxes.
As reported Wednesday, the political committee has been attacking Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca for his vote on a sweeping health insurance bill that passed in the 2019 Legislative Session.
The only difference is Rep. Chris Latvala’s and Dawn Douglas’ names have been dropped in to replace those of LaMarca and his opponent.
The mailers characterize the bill as an assault on Floridians with preexisting conditions, alleging it would strip away coverage for Floridians for all number of diagnoses or ailments, “including COVID treatment.”
Further on, it insinuates the bill was crafted post-coronavirus.
“Latavala voted to let insurance companies deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, including cancer treatments, emergency surgeries and COVID-19 hospitalizations,” it reads. “Latvala blocked efforts to expand health care to working families and veterans, even during the pandemic.”
This mailer has no basis.
Even if Latvala and other Republican lawmakers wanted to openly attack COVID-19 patients — they don’t — the bill in question was passed nearly a year before Florida was dealing with the effects of the pandemic, and six months before the virus was identified.
In reality, every claim the mailer makes is inverse of the truth.
The health insurance bill did not strip away protections for Floridians with preexisting conditions, it enhanced them by providing the residents of this state with a fallback.
If the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed, those protections would disappear in most states, thanks to the bill Latvala voted for, insurers wouldn’t be able to ditch their Florida customers with preexisting conditions.
Lies aren’t uncommon in politics. That’s doubly true in an election year. But to Latvala, Forward Majority Action’s attack is personal — the Clearwater Representative is one of the 735,000 Floridians to have suffered through the virus.
“I got this the day I finally tested negative after having COVID for over five weeks,” he told Florida Politics, referring to the mailer.