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Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Florida Governor: ‘Congress Should Do Their Jobs’ And Repeal, Replace ACA

Rick Scott speaks at Florida Forklift in Jacksonville Wednesday.
Rick Scott speaks at Florida Forklift in Jacksonville Wednesday.
Rick Scott speaks at Florida Forklift in Jacksonville Wednesday.
Credit Ryan Benk / WJCT News
Rick Scott speaks at Florida Forklift in Jacksonville Wednesday.

In Jacksonville Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said Congress should “do their job” and repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he said lawmakers must first craft something to replace it.

Scott, a former hospital executive, is emphatic that Congress is shirking its responsibility by failing to do something many Republicans campaigned on — repeal the law that was the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s presidency.

“They need to repeal Obamacare,” he told reporters after a jobs announcement at Florida Forklift.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found the insurance market is stabilizing, and insurers may begin to see profits from participating in exchanges. And a June Kaiser poll found half the country approves of the ACA for the first time, but Scott insists constituents want the law gone.

“It’s a disaster,” he said. “No one is going to have good access to health care if the costs keep going up, and that’s what’s happened.”

Republican attempts to replace the law with one that significantly rolls back hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicaid spending and a host of Obama-era regulations have been stymied by infighting between the conservative and moderate wings of the party.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio supported a scaled-back plan to simply repeal the ACA, but that was scuttled Wednesday after moderate Republicans objected.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates a simple repeal of the measure would leave 18 million people without health coverage in the first year after passage and 32 million more by 2026. That includes those covered under Medicaid expansion and those receiving subsidies to purchase private insurance on federal and state exchanges.

In a press conference broadcast on CNN Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d move forward with a third attempt to pass a bill next week

Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org , 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @RyanMichaelBenk.

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