In what might be yet another indication of his future political intentions, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday afternoon that he plans to travel to Washington, D.C., next week to “fight for Florida” as the Senate debates its health care bill.
“There seems to be a lot of people advocating for more government and higher costs in Washington and not a lot of people advocating on behalf of taxpayers,” Scott said in a press release. “I look forward to traveling to Washington to fight for Florida families and ensure there is a health care proposal that dismantles the terrible, expensive mess of Obamacare.”
The trip to the nation’s Capitol could be the first real political showdown between Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson.
It’s been speculated that the governor, who is term limited next year, will challenge Nelson in the 2018 election.
Nelson has been highly critical of the GOP healthcare plan.
“Now we know why they tried to keep this secret,” Nelson said in a statement released by his office. “This bill is just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid. If that weren’t enough, it also allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans. Fixing our nation’s health care system shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should be working together, not plotting behind closed doors to make it worse.”
Traveling to Washington would provide the governor with a platform to go toe-to-toe with Sen. Nelson on an issue that has been at the center of the political debate.
Nelson, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, is running for his fourth term. Prior to the Senate he served as Florida insurance commissioner. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Florida House of Representatives.
Prior to running for governor, Scott was a political novice with no real political experience. He was known for bankrolling his gubernatorial campaigns and is expected to do the same if he decides to challenge Nelson.