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Politics / Issues

PolitiFact Florida on Rubio and 'Dreamers,' Scott on Medicaid

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Now that Sen. Marco Rubio is officially running for president, he's already being hit with a barrage of attack ads. One of them says he tried to deport so-called "dreamers."  We talk about that - and whether Gov. Rick Scott is taking both sides of the Medicaid debate - with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen.

On the day Sen. Marco Rubio announced his presidential campaign, opponents wasted little time attacking his record.

People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, released a Spanish-language radio ad that calls Rubio "just another Republican with a dangerous plan."  They pit him against the so-called "Dreamers."  These are young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children.

The ad’s narrator says in dark tones, "Instead of giving Dreamers an opportunity to go to college and build a future, Marco Rubio voted to deport them,"

Now Rubio's a son of Cuban immigrants and has long been an advocate for changing immigration law, including a path to citizenship.

To talk about this, let's check in with Josh Gillen from PolitiFact Florida.

Their ruling:

A radio ad from People for the American Way said, "Marco Rubio voted to deport" young people known as Dreamers.

Rubio did not literally vote to deport young immigrants protected by Obama’s "deferred action for childhood arrivals" program. He voted in favor of an appropriations bill that would have stripped funding from the program, which might have resulted in future deportations if it had passed. But that’s only speculation.

Additionally, Rubio has specifically said that he does not support affecting the status of current Dreamers, though he does oppose expanding the program and has said it should not be permanent policy.

The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.

Rick Scott and Medicaid

Ok, keeping with our political theme, has Gov. Rick Scott changed his mind on Medicaid again? In 2012, Scott said he was against expansion. In 2013 he said he was for it. Now, he says he’s against it. Or does he?

He opposed the expansion during his first race for governor. But once he was sitting in the Governor's mansion, he called it a "compassionate, common-sense step forward."

"While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care," Scott said in 2013. "We will support a three-year expansion of our Medicaid program under the new health care law, as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during this time."

But he never really did support it. Now, after his second election, he's backing away from his previous position.

Where does the governor stand on the Flip-O-Meter?

Their ruling:

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In 2013, Scott said in no uncertain terms that "we will support an expansion of our Medicaid program under the new health care law." In 2015, Scott suggested the state should not expand Medicaid, saying it would be "hard to understand how the state could take on even more federal programs."

Scott’s change of position on expanding Medicaid is particularly perplexing because it comes at a time when the Florida Senate seems to be genuinely considering legislation to either expand the program or propose some kind of overhaul to the program. His April 6 statement dumps cold water on that effort.

That’s a dramatic about-face from supporting expansion. We rate this a Full Flop.