Ron DeSantis on Health Care



Make all of Medicaid into block grants

Q [to Gov. HALEY then DESNATIS]: In S.C. you chose not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Forty states did expand Medicaid covering more than 18 million Americans. As President, would you allow those states to keep their expansions in place?

HALEY: Medicaid needs to be sent down as block grants. Governors can best decide how to do that. Whether they need to use it towards mental health, whether they need to use it towards support services. Right now, I would send all of that down to the states. The problem is they're only sending a small portion of it.

DESANTIS: I think what you do is you block-grant the program and then let states run the way they see fit to do. But I can tell you this, expanding Medicaid leads to less private coverage. It doesn't necessarily increase access to quality care. I want to actually get people good health care. It's not just about a sheet of paper if you don't get any good doctors that get you entitled for that.

Source: CNN 2024 pre-Iowa caucus one-on-one debate , Jan 10, 2024

More mental health institutions; more veteran PTSD services

Q: You said that closing mental health institutions, a policy supported by Ronald Reagan, was a mistake. Would you restore federal funding to those mental health institutions?

DESANTIS: Yes, we need more people in institutionalized settings, unfortunately. I think we have a significant problem with veterans, particularly the post-9-11 veterans, and we know the stats on suicide. We can't keep turning a blind eye to what's happening to our vets. It's not going to be done just through the VA. And it can't be done just by pumping people with pharmaceuticals. If a veteran has post- traumatic stress, you need more than just that. For example, in Florida, we have an organization that trains service dogs to be paired with veterans with post-traumatic stress. They understand the symptoms; they mitigate it; and the suicide rate is close to zero as a result. We got to think bigger than these bureaucracies, and we've got to be there for our vets and their mental health.

Source: CNN 2024 pre-Iowa caucus one-on-one debate , Jan 10, 2024

Florida did not expand ObamaCare; need accountability

Q: For 15 years, Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare, but haven't. You're now promising something better, but Florida has more uninsured people than almost any other state.

Ron DeSantis: We have millions of Americans who do not have access to affordable healthcare, and it's not just getting some type of card and Medicaid, because a lot of times they don't even get access to care. The other thing is we have millions of people that don't have access to good doctors and good hospitals. Florida did not expand Obamacare. I think the states that did that I think are struggling financially. So that, yes, we declined to do that and I don't think that that was the right policy to do, but we are going to go after the cost. You're paying too much for everything. We've actually addressed this in Florida in some ways, but you need price transparency. You need to hold the pharmaceuticals, big insurance, and big government accountable, and we're going to get that done.

Source: NewsNation 2023 Republican primary debate in Alabama , Dec 6, 2023

COVID: it was a mistake for Feds to lock down the economy

Why are we in this mess? Part of it, and a major reason is because how this federal government handled COVID-19 by locking down this economy. It was a mistake. It should have never happened. And in Florida, we led the country out of lockdown. We kept our state free and open. As your President, I will never let the deep state bureaucrats lock you down. You don't take somebody like Fauci and coddle him. You bring Fauci in. You sit him down. And you say, Anthony, you are fired.
Source: Fox News 2023 Republican primary debate in Milwaukee , Aug 23, 2023

Protect free speech and conscience rights of physicians

And, maybe most famously, we rank number one for protections of our citizens against the biomedical security state, from prohibiting "jab or job" mandates to banning vaccine passports to ensuring hospital visitation rights. We defied the experts, we buck the elites, we ignored the chatter, we did it our way, the Florida way. And the result is that we are the number one destination for our fellow Americans who are looking for a better life.

We have rejected the biomedical security state in Florida. Protection from medical authoritarianism should not have an expiration date in the Free State of Florida. We also need to protect the free speech rights and conscience rights of physicians. The medical establishment whiffed an awful lot during COVID and physicians who follow the evidence should not be penalized simply because they buck a stale consensus.

Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 7, 2023

Shouldn't have to choose between job and unwanted shot

Florida has provided the strongest protections for medical freedom during the coronavirus pandemic of any state in the country. We have prohibited COVID shot mandates in schools, we have banned vaccine passports and we have protected Floridians from losing their jobs due to their personal decision about whether to take or not take the COVID jab. No Floridians should have to choose between a job they need and a shot they don't want.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 7, 2023

We reject the biomedical security state, defeated Fauci-ism

In Florida, we reject the biomedical security state which erodes liberty, harms livelihoods and divides our society. We have done things like ban vaccine passports and mandates because it is unacceptable to simply subcontract out Fauciism to big companies. Florida has defeated Fauciism. Freedom has prevailed in the sunshine state.
Source: Speech at the 2022 CPAC Conference in Orlando FL , Feb 24, 2022

Supports $5000 fines for businesses demanding vaccine proof

DeSantis defended his decision to start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools and government agencies that require people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, saying he doesn't want to create two classes of citizens. DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned vaccine passports. "One, I'm vaccinated, I am offended that someone would make me show something just to go to a restaurant or just to live life," DeSantis said. "I don't want a biomedical security state."
Source: News4Jax on 2022 Florida Gubernatorial race , Jul 1, 2021

COVID: We will not close schools, jobs, businesses

Friends, legislators, Floridians, lend me your ears: We will not let anybody close your schools, we will not let anybody take your jobs and we will not let anybody close your businesses!

Our efforts saved lives. In fact, 40 states have suffered higher COVID mortality for seniors aged 65+ on a per capita basis than Florida. The cases and hospitalizations for seniors in Florida have plummeted as vaccinations have increased. Florida was right to prioritize the elderly. Seniors First works.

Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature , Mar 2, 2021

COVID: We got it right and the lock down states got it wrong

In Florida the schools are open. Every Floridian has a right to earn a living and all businesses have the right to operate. Florida has lower per-capita COVID mortality than a national average and lower than 27 other states. Our unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Tourism is fully back. Our budget is in great shape. We have not touched one red cent from our rainy day fund throughout this whole time. Florida got it right and the lock down states got it wrong.
Source: Remarks by Senator DeSantis at the 2021 CPAC Conference , Feb 26, 2021

OpEd: FL did nothing to mitigate COVID in nursing homes

COVID patients are being transferred from hospitals into Florida nursing homes with the express blessing of the DeSantis administration. Florida was having the problem we prepared for but avoided. Their hospitals were over capacity and had no choice but to send seniors back to nursing homes. They did not reduce the viral transmission rate the way New York State did, nor did they build the additional beds we did. For New York, it was the worst case scenario plan that never materialized. For Florida, it was reality. Unsurprisingly, neither Donald Trump nor Fox News maligns Republican governor DeSantis for actually doing what they incorrectly accused New York of doing.
Source: American Crisis, by Andrew Cuomo, p.309 , Oct 13, 2020

New Yorkers were bringing COVID to Florida

In late March, the number of cases in New York was spiking but remained low in most of the country. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida complained that New Yorkers were bringing the virus to Florida. Florida is a key electoral state for President Trump, and DeSantis is very much a Trump supporter. In fact, to secure a political advantage, Trump had just changed his residency from New York to Florida. After DeSantis's statements , the president's aids started to talk about limiting New Yorkers' ability to travel. At first, we didn't take them seriously, but within a Trump White House you have to be constantly on guard because they were capable of anything. There was also a White House driven theme emerging that COVID was a Democratic state problem, not a Republican state problem. DeSantis's remark was another manifestation of this theme, and it was conceivable that targeting New York would be advancing his political narrative.
Source: American Crisis, by Andrew Cuomo, p.186-187 , Oct 13, 2020

Against Medicare-for-all; keep private insurance

We need to enact policies to make health insurance, prescription drugs and medical care more affordable for Floridians. As you are aware, health care is being hotly debated at the national level, so let me say: Any proposal that seeks to eliminate the private health insurance policies of millions of Floridians is unacceptable. Government has no right to take away the policies that Floridians earn through their jobs or purchase on the individual market.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature , Mar 5, 2019

Repeal ObamaCare; health care isn't a right

Q: Support or Repeal ACA, aka ObamaCare? Accept ACA's Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants?

Ron DeSantis (R): Voted to repeal ACA. No FL Medicaid expansion. Says health care isn't a right. The right is to pursue the type of healthcare you want. ObamaCare infringes on that.

Andrew Gillum (D): Support & strengthen ACA, guarantee care for pre-existing conditions, expand Medicaid in Florida. Work toward "Medicare for all."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

No right to health care; that's just a bureaucratic right

[Democratic gubernatorial opponent Andrew] Gillum has campaigned on a platform of "Medicare for all" that a key supporter, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, has pushed at the federal level. He also says universal health care is a right. Much of that platform will be difficult to achieve with a Republican-controlled Legislature, where leaders in the House have rejected Medicaid expansion after protracted battles.

DeSantis hasn't laid out a specific platform on health care and has said little about health care policy. His issues page on his website, which was published a week before the primary, doesn't include the subject. In a debate with GOP primary opponent Adam Putnam, he indicated health care wasn't a right.

"What I think you have a right to do is pursue the type of health care you want. ObamaCare infringes on your freedom to be able to do that," DeSantis said. "Democrats are saying that there's a bureaucratic right where you create bureaucracies."

Source: Orlando Sentinel on 2018 Florida gubernatorial race , Aug 31, 2018

Repeal ObamaCare to protect Medicare

Source: 2012 House campaign website, voteRon2012.com, "Issues" , Nov 6, 2012

Repeal any federal health care takeover.

DeSantis signed Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" Pledge

The Club for Growth`s `Repeal-It!` Pledge for candidates states, `I hereby pledge to the people of my district/state upon my election to the U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Senate, to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.`

Source: Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" Pledge 10-CfG-can on Jul 4, 2010

Supports repealing Affordable Care Act.

DeSantis supports the PVS survey question on ObamaCare

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q5 on Aug 30, 2012

Fully repealing ObamaCare is important, but not sufficient.

DeSantis voted YEA Full Repeal of ObamaCare

Heritage Action Summary: This vote would fully repeal ObamaCare.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (2/3/2015): ObamaCare creates $1.8 trillion in new health care spending and uses cuts to Medicare spending to help pay for some of it. Millions of Americans already have lost, and more likely will lose, their coverage because of ObamaCare. Many Americans have not been able to keep their doctors as insurers try to offset the added costs of ObamaCare by limiting the number of providers in their networks. In spite of the promise, the law increases the cost of health coverage.

Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recommendation to vote NO: (robertreich.org 11/22/2013): Having failed to defeat the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are now hell-bent on destroying the ObamaCare in Americans` minds, using the word `disaster` whenever mentioning the Act, and demand its repeal. Democrats [should] meet the Republican barrage with three larger truths:

  1. The wreck of private insurance: Ours has been the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. For-profit insurers have spent billions finding and marketing their policies to healthy people--while rejecting people with preexisting conditions, or at high risk.
  2. We could not continue with this travesty of a healthcare system: ObamaCare is a modest solution. It still relies on private insurers--merely setting minimum standards and `exchanges` where customers can compare policies.
  3. The moral imperative: Even a clunky compromise like the ACA between a national system of health insurance and a for-profit insurance market depends, fundamentally, on a social compact in which those who are healthier and richer are willing to help those who are sicker and poorer. Such a social compact defines a society.

Legislative outcome: Passed House 239-186-8; never came to a vote in the Senate.

Source: Congressional vote 15-H0132 on Feb 3, 2015

Other candidates on Health Care: Ron DeSantis on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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