WASHINGTON — Count Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz among U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s supporters, at least when it comes to health care.
Scott and Gaetz, a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, have sparred in public recently. Scott last month said that a tweet Gaetz sent — an apparent attempt to intimidate Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen — was “embarrassing” and “disgusting.”
Now, Scott is among President Trump’s picks to lead the Republican Party’s health-care reform push. That strikes some critics as an odd choice, given Scott’s tenure at the helm of a company that later pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare.
Gaetz, a Trump ally, lauded that choice.
He told the Florida Phoenix Wednesday, “Sen. Scott did a lot to reform health care in the state of Florida, and we reduced cost as a consequence, so I think that he’ll be able to give the president great advice.”
Scott said Sunday on “Face the Nation,” I care about the cost of health care and that’s what I’ve focused on. I know it’s going to be tough. I look forward to … seeing what the president’s going to put out.”
Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said Scott has been “a stumbling block to affordable health care for Florida families,” in an interview this week with the Phoenix. “I’d hate to see him do the same for families and businesses all across America.”
As governor, she said, “Rick Scott was the one who fought affordable health care in Florida, blocked working families from being able to access health care who rely on Medicaid. He whittled away at the public health infrastructure in the state of Florida. He was not upfront with people all across our state on whether he supported protections for pre-existing conditions.”
The U.S. House on Wednesday voted to approve a resolution that condemns the Trump administration’s recent reversal on health care. The administration said it now supports the full invalidation of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.