Ron DeSantis says he’s ready to dramatically alter the Affordable Care Act.
That’s the good news for Republican voters who still want to turf so-called “Obamacare.”
The bad news?
Those voters will have to trust the 2024 presidential candidate, given that he says he’s not rolling out the proposal for “replacing Obamacare” for months.
“Well, we’re going to be working on, probably in the Spring, we will roll out a big proposal,” DeSantis said on “Meet the Press” Sunday.
By the time Spring starts, 20 nominating contests will have been completed, with five more slated for the first day of Spring on March 19. And the early contests — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — will be distant memories, raising questions as to why a health care plan takes nearly a year of an active campaign to formulate.
DeSantis suggested there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, citing “a lot of input that that’s been coming in from a lot of good people around the country.”
“But we will be definitely be addressing insurance, definitely be addressing big government, and we will addressing big Pharma,” he vowed.
DeSantis has been leading Florida for nearly five years now, which Forbes notes has the fourth most expensive health care and highest private insurance costs of any state in the country. It also has the second highest proportion of any state’s residents struggling to pay their children’s doctor bills, the fifth highest likelihood of patients skipping a doctor’s visit because the cost was too high and the sixth greatest incidence of forgoing mental health treatment.
DeSantis says he will have “a plan that will supersede Obamacare that will lower prices for people so that they can afford health care,” which will ensure “that people with pre-existing conditions are protected.”
“And we’re going to look at the big institutions that are causing prices to be high, (such as) big Pharma, big insurance and big government,” he said. “But it’s going to need to be where you have a reform package that’s going to be put in place.”
If DeSantis is still running and releases his health care plan this Spring, it will be a version of history repeating. He released a health care plan during his 2018 gubernatorial campaign in late October, but the webpage has since been deleted from his campaign site.
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.
A Democratic spokesperson at the time predicted “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.”