With the help of a significant media buy paid for by a Democratic super PAC, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking aim at Gov. Rick Scott’s record on health care. In an ad (see below) released Wednesday, the Senate Majority PAC (SMP) criticizes Scott for failing to expand Medicaid in Florida and funding for health care overall.
“In here you see it all. We got an opioid crisis, A doctor shortage, Seniors struggling to pay for care,” says Dr. David Woolsey, who appears in the ad and is identified as a Florida emergency room doctor. “But even with all that Rick Scott vetoed millions in healthcare funds. And refused federal funds that would’ve covered 750,000 Floridians.”
The Tampa Bay Times reports it’s part of a $2.6 million ad buy by SMP and is the second major media buy made by SMP on behalf of the Nelson campaign. The PAC had previously funded a $2.2 million ad campaign. SMP has reserved $23 million worth of airtime for Nelson beginning in October and running through the November general election.
“A governor who badly managed Florida’s health care system cannot be trusted to represent Florida in the United States Senate,” said Chris Hayden, spokesperson for SMP. “The only candidate in this race who has continuously stood up to the insurance companies and fought for coverage for all Floridians is Bill Nelson, and he is the only candidate that will always put Florida first.”
“Bill Nelson took on insurance companies; forcing them to cover people with pre-existing conditions,” the ad goes on to say.
The spot is scheduled to start airing Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the Scott campaign says the claims made in ad are “misleading.”
“Outside democratic groups can keep trying to paint a picture of Bill Nelson as a champion for healthcare in Florida, but ultimately, Nelson’s actions speak louder than words,” said Lauren Schenone, press secretary for the Scott campaign. “Over the course of his nearly half-century political career, Bill Nelson has supported multiple tax increases on the elderly, failed to properly address the national opioid epidemic and taken more than a million dollars in campaign contributions from the very insurance companies he claims to take on. In typical career politician fashion, Bill Nelson continues to talk a lot about the issues without taking real action to fix anything.”
Polls have shown the race being a close contest with recent surveys giving Scott a slight advantage. An Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll released Tuesday shows Scott holding a 3-point advantage over Nelson — 49 percent to 46 percent, with 5 percent giving no answer.