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Toxic Algae & Health Care Dragging Scott Down

New reports this morning highlight two of the issues dragging Rick Scott down: the Washington Post details how his toxic algae crisis is costing him support with conservative voters, and the Orlando Sentinel writes that Scott remains on defense on health care after leading the charge to gut protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. These reports add to the over 620 bad stories Scott’s suffered in the first 200 days of his campaign.

Washington Post: The Energy 202: Why some Florida voters associate Rick Scott with toxic algae

By Dino Grandoni

October 31, 2018

  • The Post’s Darryl Fears and Lori Rozsa report on how some voters of turned off by what they see as Scott’s lackluster response to a toxic crisis along the state’s shores.
  • The governor is being taunted as “Red Tide Rick,” and some Floridians have made him the butt of jokes on social media, contrasting the state’s beautiful beaches with the dead fish littering its shores.
  • Under Scott, the budgets of state agencies that manage fresh water were cut by nearly a billion dollars, and a steep drop in pollution enforcement cases coincided with the decimation of staff at the state environmental protection department.
  • When Scott entered office on a wave of tea party populism in 2011, the South Florida Water Management District was on the verge of closing a deal to purchase more than 150 acres of land owned by sugar-cane farms that sent nutrient pollution into Lake Okeechobee.
  • The transaction stood to significantly reduce pollution that’s choking the lake. Scott helped nix it, calling the agreement a boondoggle.

Orlando Sentinel: Rick Scott, other Republicans take heat for late embrace of pre-existing condition protections

By Steven Lemongello

October 31, 2018

  • Gov. Rick Scott has joined other Republican candidates across the country suddenly embracing a key provision of Obamacare […] The strategy comes in the wake of Republican attempts to remove the protections. Last year the GOP health care bill that failed by a single vote would have repealed them. In addition, a multistate lawsuit that includes Florida seeks to have the pre-existing conditions provision in the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional.
  • Democrats around the U.S. have made health care a key part of their message over the past few months of the campaign, and many Democrats – including Scott’s opponent, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson – have called the Republicans’ campaign-season flip hypocritical.
  • “Rick Scott tried to stop us from passing it in the first place,” Nelson said at an event in Orlando earlier this month. “Ever since, Rick Scott has been trying to repeal the law. The law brings to Florida almost 2 million people having health insurance that never had it.”
  • Scott, one of the earliest critics of the ACA, “essentially started the public opposition” by launching an organization dedicated to stopping its passage, wrote Emma Sandoe, a former staffer at the Department of Health and Human Services, in an email.
  • “He personally ran ads that argued against pre-existing conditions,” Sandoe wrote. “In 2009, his ads said that if we cover pre-existing conditions that premiums would skyrocket – citing the exact same amount premiums were expected to rise without health reform. In 2009, if you asked me to name one person opposed to covering pre-existing conditions, I would have said ‘Rick Scott’ in a heartbeat.

 

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