Congressman Ted Deutch believes that we have a moral and economic responsibility to ensure every American has access to quality and affordable health care. In Florida and in Washington, Ted has fought back against efforts to repeal, delay, and derail the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In Florida, Ted has shined light on blatant attempts by Florida Governor Rick Scott and his allies in the state legislature to undermine the federal health care law and deny Florida's families its many benefits. In 2013, the award-winning website Politifact awarded Ted a 100% rating on its Truth-or-Meter when he charged Governor Rick Scott for intentionally crippling the Florida's insurance commissioner from negotiating lower insurance premiums for Florida customers. This effort led Ted to cosponsor legislation at the federal level to empower the Department of Health and Human Services to step in on behalf of consumers in Florida and other whose leaders refuse to negotiate better deals for their residents. Ted has also called on Governor Scott and his allies in Tallahassee to stop roadblocking basic health coverage for the working poor in Florida and embrace the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Enacting a Medicaid expansion plan in Florida would extend eligibility for affordable coverage to nearly a million people at virtually no cost to Florida taxpayers.
In Washington, Ted has gained a reputation as a voice of reason in a Congress dominated by extremists who have voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act more than 50 times. Rather than backpedal on the enormous progress we have made, Ted believes we must fully implement and then expand upon this law. He is a cosponsor of the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act, would further reduce premium costs for consumers and reduce the federal deficit by nearly a $100 billion in the next decade. He also supports legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate cheaper prescription drug prices for seniors, just like the VA and Walmart can.
Ted has also been an outspoken defender of health care reform's vast improvements to Medicare. As a result of the law's gradual closing of the Medicare "donut hole" coverage gap, seniors have already saved over $4 billion on their prescription drugs. While Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail continue to falsely claim that the Affordable Care Act somehow weakened Medicare, Ted will continue to tout the improved prescription drug coverage, free preventative health screenings, and cheaper premiums made possible for Medicare beneficiaries as a result of this historic new law.
Ted will never support any health care reform or budget framework that fundamentally jeopardizes the Medicare guarantee for seniors. He has relentlessly defended Medicare against GOP budget proposals that would shift costs to seniors by creating a premium support, or voucher-based, system. Rather than leave seniors with thousands of dollar in additional out of pocket costs, Ted believes we must make changes to reduce health care costs that will strengthen Medicare, including allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices through Medicare. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act included a number of significant cost saving reforms to Medicare as well as pilot programs to test out alternate payment systems and other reform ideas. Ted is committed to building on these reforms in the future.