Why Gov. Rick Scott isn’t meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson in Washington

Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Washington, D.C., today.

UPDATED with response from Nelson

WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s schedule here today includes meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and at least five senators, including Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, to discuss the Senate health care bill.

But the governor hasn’t penciled in any time with his state’s senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson.

Republican Scott is expected to challenge Nelson next year, with President Donald Trump among those encouraging Scott to run.

Nelson slammed the GOP-drafted Senate health care bill when it was unveiled last week, calling it “just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid.”

Scott, who wants changes to the Senate bill so Florida gets a larger share of Medicaid payments, said talking to Nelson would be a waste of time.

“He’s not engaged in the health care debate,” Scott said of Nelson today in an interview with The Palm Beach Post. “What have you seen him come out and do other than oppose doing anything about this?”

Scott continued: “I’m going to focus on the people that are actually doing something with regard to the health care debate. The Republicans have a bill and I’m going to focus on the people that are actually trying to get something done. I appreciate that Donald Trump is focused on repealing and replacing Obamacare. I know Mike Pence is. I know the Senate Republicans are trying to get something done. I’m going to focus my time on trying to get something done.”

Nelson offered this response through his office this morning: “Rick Scott is supporting and urging Republican senators to vote for a bill that makes huge cuts to Medicaid, takes coverage away from 22 million of people and allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans. If he really cared about the people of Florida, he’d be doing the exact opposite of what he’s doing now.”

 

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