Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has been called out for two misleading campaign ads that suggest as many as 300,000 Floridians have lost their health insurance coverage through Obamacare, according to The Miami Herald.
On Wednesday Scott deflected questions by reporters about the ads, produced by the Pro-Scott political committee Let’s Get to Work.
“Clearly, the ad’s accurate [sic],” Scott said. He refused to elaborate.
The insurance company that the claim is built around is Florida Blue, which warned last fall that 300,000 of their customers’ insurance plans could be cancelled through Obamacare because those plans didn’t comply with the law.
But Florida Blue told the Herald that, contrary to the ads, 300,000 plans had not been canceled through Obamacare.
“To date, most of the members in our pre-ACA plans have kept their plans,” Florida Blue spokesman Paul Kluding said.
Kluding did say in his statement that some Florida Blue customers decided to drop their old plans because of the better deals offered in new plans they could get under Obamacare.
“We had a special outreach to those members who were advantaged to move to ACA plans, either because of potential subsidies, or because they would benefit from the new coverages and/or better premiums,” Kluding said. “Based on that outreach, about 20 percent of the targeted members moved from previous Florida Blue plans to ACA plans.”
Politifact, the Miami Herald noted, fact checked the ads and said the accusation that 300,000 health plans had been canceled was “mostly false.” As Politifact noted, in 2013 Florida Blue sent letters to 300,000 customers explaining that some Florida Blue plans did not comply with the Affordable Care Act but did not mean those members would be left without insurance.
Unsurprisingly, the ads do not note that according to the Obama administration 442,000 Floridians opted for a plan through Obamacare as of March 1, the Herald noted.
Scott had not been directly questioned by reporters about the ads until Wednesday when he was pressed at the Armando Badia Senior Center in Florida during a meeting with senior citizens. Scott did add some nuance in his statements on Wednesday about the cancellations claim.
“We were already told last fall that 300,000 Floridians were going to lose their insurance,” Scott said.
When pressed about the ads’ 300,000 plans claim, Scott just pivoted back to railing against Obamacare.
“If you look around the state, Obamacare has had an impact on a lot of people’s plans,” Scott said. “They’re losing their doctors. And they’re losing the plans.”
Watch video of Scott addressing the claim, via American Bridge:
Below are two ads from the Rick Scott’s Let’s Get To Work re-election campaign effort that include the 300,000 plans lost claim: