Ron DeSantis Wants to Repeal the Affordable Care Act and is Blocking Floridians From Receiving Affordable Health Care 

In response to Ron DeSantis’s yearslong record of railing against the Affordable Care Act and blocking Medicaid expansion for Floridians, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement:

“As Floridians struggle with some of the highest health care costs in the country, Ron DeSantis is actively making it worse by making Florida one of the last ten states in the country to not expand Medicaid. DeSantis and Donald Trump are one and the same – they both want to rip health care way from millions of Americans and jack up premiums to line the pockets of their insurance buddies. Republicans are running on a losing strategy that the American people have rejected time and time again, and they’ll lose again next November.”

Ron DeSantis has spent years attacking the Affordable Care Act and voted in Congress to repeal the law with no replacement.

DeSantis: “We must repeal ObamaCare… I have no desire to ‘improve’ or ‘reform’ ObamaCare. I intend to repeal it.” 

DeSantis: “Obamacare should never have been passed.”

DeSantis: “The full and complete repeal of ObamaCare is one of the most critical issues of our time.”

Tampa Bay Times: “When he was soliciting Republican votes in the GOP primary, the front page of DeSantis’ site highlighted how he ‘led efforts’ to ‘repeal ObamaCare.’”

May 2013: DeSantis voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

January 2016: DeSantis voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan.

May 2017: DeSantis voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and let states roll back requirements for coverage of essential health services and pave the way for higher premiums on those with preexisting conditions. 

HuffPost: “As a Republican serving in the U.S. House, [DeSantis] was part of a far-right caucus that voted against the first ACA repeal bill that leadership brought to the floor because, DeSantis and his allies said, it didn’t undo enough of the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP leaders eventually put forward a more aggressive repeal. DeSantis and his colleagues voted yes on that one, but it failed in the Senate.” 

DeSantis has criticized the Affordable Care Act on the 2024 campaign trail, and as governor, he has signed legislation that allowed health insurers to circumvent ACA requirements.

DeSantis: “The first thing I did was I declined the congressional pension and I declined the congressional health care benefits because they were imposing worse things with Obamacare on people. And then they weren’t subjected to Obamacare as Congress. … And so I didn’t accept those benefits because I just thought it was wrong.”

St. Augustine Record: “[DeSantis signed into law a measure that] would allow insurance companies to sell short-term health coverage — an approach backed by President Trump and leading Republicans in Congress as a workaround of the Affordable Care Act, which they oppose.”

DeSantis’s opposition to Medicaid expansion is preventing hundreds of thousands of people from getting affordable care as Floridians struggle with health care access and costs.

HuffPost: “While Ron DeSantis Is Fighting Culture Wars, Millions Of Floridians Are Losing Their Health Care”

Orlando Sentinel: “Florida is taking sick kids off Medicaid months before planned”

KFF: “If Florida were to expand its Medicaid program, 789,800 uninsured nonelderly adults would become eligible for coverage, 33% of the state’s uninsured nonelderly adult population.”

NBC News: “More than 400,000 Floridians have lost coverage since Covid-era protections ended in March, and more than half (55%) were unenrolled due to ‘procedural reasons,’ not because they were found ineligible, according to the health research nonprofit KFF.”

HuffPost: “DeSantis could do something about this. He has refused. In fact, as of this moment, his administration is embarking on a plan that some analysts worry could make the problem worse.”

HuffPost: “But [expanding Medicaid] has been a tough sell in Tallahassee, where Republicans have had nearly uninterrupted control of the Florida’s lawmaking process since 1999. Two previous efforts to get expansion through the state legislature failed. DeSantis’ spokesperson confirmed in 2021 that he remained opposed to it.”

Spectrum News 13: “Studies show Florida hospital bills rank among the highest in the nation”

WUSF: “Study finds employees in Florida pay among the highest rates for health insurance”

Trump renewed his yearslong effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, telling MAGA Republicans they should “never give up” in their efforts to “terminate” the landmark legislation. 

Daily Beast: “Trump Revives Plan to Dismantle Obamacare if Elected in 2024”

The Messenger: “Former President Donald Trump said he is ‘seriously looking at alternatives’ to Obamacare in a new post on his social media platform Truth Social. He also called it a ‘low point for the Republican Party’ that lawmakers failed to ‘terminate’ the health insurance program established by the Affordable Care Act. According to the latest figures this year, more than 40 million Americans rely on the program for those who can’t afford private plans.”

Trump: “The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare. I’m seriously looking at alternatives. We had a couple of Republican Senators who campaigned for 6 years against it, and then raised their hands not to terminate it. It was a low point for the Republican Party, but we should never give up!”

If DeSantis, Trump, or any MAGA Republican takes power and repeals the Affordable Care Act, 135 million people with preexisting conditions could have protections ripped away from them – opening the potential for insurance companies to discriminate against them.

Center for American Progress: “According to new estimates from the Center for American Progress, 135 million people under age 65, or about half of nonelderly people, have a preexisting condition that an insurer could use to discriminate against them if they ever sought coverage through the individual market in the absence of ACA protections.”

KFF Poll: “Majorities of Democrats [88%], Republicans [62%], and independents [73%] say it is ‘very important’ to continue each of [the Affordable Care Act’s] protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

Repealing the Affordable Care Act is highly unpopular and would be devastating for the millions of Americans who depend on it.

Jon Favreau: “If Trump wins, 40 million people could lose their health care, and insurance companies would get to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. If Biden wins, that…won’t happen.”

KFF Poll: 64% of Americans believe it is “very important” insurance companies continue to be prohibited from charging sick people more – including 55% of Republicans. 

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll: “Thirteen years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, more than eight in ten Americans (83%) either agree or strongly agree that all Americans have a basic right to healthcare coverage.”

Bryan Bennett, Navigator Research: “Per our October @NavigatorSurvey research, repealing the ACA (and January 6) remain the top concerns about Trump’s first term as president”

Washington Post: “But what’s clear is that an effort to ‘terminate’ Obamacare is not something Americans are pining for. Not only were the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare during Trump’s term historically unpopular, but the law also appears to have gotten more popular since then. … And when politicians talk of ending health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, dropping coverage of preexisting conditions and cutting Obamacare’s Medicaid funding, things get even dicier.”