When reporters asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) about reelection campaign ads that incorrectly imply 300,000 people in the state have lost their health insurance plans as a result of Obamacare, he licked his lips and dug in.
"Clearly, the ad's accurate," Scott told reporters gathered outside a senior center in Miami on Wednesday.
"But it's not, governor!" insisted one reporter, who pointed out that the Blue Cross-run agency at the center of the claim had already debunked the numbers. A second reporter continued to question the assertion, which has been factchecked by newspapers across the state and discredited. Scott, however, remained unmoved before being "quickly ushered away by his media aide," according to CBS:
One of the ads has been running since March 24, when it was released to attack Democratic challenger and former Gov. Charlie Crist for his support of the Affordable Care Act. "News reports say 300,000 health plans canceled," a narrator booms.
Last fall, Florida Blue estimated that 300,000 Floridians might receive a mailed notice from the company stating that their plans could change as a result of Obamacare requirements. But according to a spokesman, "most of the members in our pre-ACA plans have kept their plans" to date. Only some 40,000 received notices in the end, reports Politifact, which rated Scott's claim "mostly false" last month.
"Technically, there were a couple of hundred members with unique plans that were not continued. We chose to migrate those plans to new ACA-compliant ones instead of making changes to their existing benefits," Florida Blue spokesman Paul Kluding told the Miami Herald in a statement. "Other than those unique members, no one else lost coverage due to the ACA."
According to Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo, it wasn't the only misleading moment of Scott's afternoon in Miami:
Rick Scott railed against Obamacare cuts at a Miami Sr. center. Unmentioned: Scott vetoed $1m for the center in 2013 http://t.co/2FvqOxwWr1
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) April 9, 2014