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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

When Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott accepted Medicaid expansion, many observed that it was mostly because he’s extremely unpopular and facing election next year, and he was more afraid of losing the general election to former governor Charlie Crist than a primary to a Tea Partier.

That’s certainly part of the story.

Like Republican governor Rick Snyder of Michigan, who also is calling on his state legislature to accept the expansion, Scott has spent much of his term appeasing the far-right Republicans who put him in office in what some call a Tea Party binge. So in an effort to seem somewhat centrist in states President Obama won, both agreed to allow his signature accomplishment to extend health insurance to any legal resident earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level.

But in all the celebration of Scott agreeing to cover about a million uninsured Floridians, the three-year waiver he negotiated with the federal government didn’t get its much-deserved attention. And Scott seems to have planned it that way.

“A few months ago, my mother passed away, and I lost one of the only constants in my life,” he said. “Losing someone so close to you puts everything in new perspective . . . especially the big decisions.”

He also suggested that he was considering the “poorest and weakest,” which is not exactly a point he was making when he was lying about the cost of Medicaid expansion.

With talk like that, Scott was instantly called “Benedict Arnold” by some Tea Partiers. But they likely missed the real story by underestimating Scott’s willingness to bilk the federal government.

“Scott’s hospital company, Columbia/HCA, pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid a total of $1.7 billion in fines related to Medicare fraud,” according to PolitiFact. “Even though Scott had resigned by the time the case settled, prosecutors said the widespread fraud occurred while he was at the helm.”

This history would make many reluctant to let Scott anywhere near taxpayer money. However, industry lobbyists are lusting over the sweet deal Scott made before deciding to accept the expansion: Florida will be allowed to privatize its Medicaid program that currently covers about three million residents.

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7 responses to “Rick Scott’s Medicaid Deception”

  1. Budjob says:

    This asshole and his wife are just posturing themselves so they can steal more money from a healthcare program!

  2. Scott Brown did not agree to expand MEDICAID to fund ACA out of concern for thousands of uninsured Floridians, he did it because he saw an opportunity to benefit, financially, from the bonanza of Federal funds to support ACA. The state, and entrepreneurs, will benefit from the new Federal funds and from the elimination of State funding for programs designed to help the uninsured. Those savings will be passed on to wealthy Floridians in the form of lower corporate taxes and programs that benefit the rich.

    • sigrid28 says:

      I desperately hope that our party has thought beyond this immediate Bonanza for health corporations and the wealthy, as we must take the long view sometimes in our posts. It is our duty and that of the news media to shine a light on the outcomes of this decision and particularly to keep a floodlight on the rich beneficiaries of this legislation, cast as a move to help millions of impoverished Floridians. If we do so, sly outlaws like Rick Scott will eventually get their just desserts. Better yet, the outrages they perpetrate in the name of the ACA may eventually (let us hope sooner rather than later) result in ousting the health insurance industry altogether and giving us at last a public option that will benefit all Americans.

  3. jmprint says:

    As long as the Republicans line their pockets, nothing else matters. Look at the Iraq War. Cheney made plenty of money.

  4. jstsyn says:

    How does this degenerate stay out of jail? He should have been jailed for the first case of fraud. Instead he was rewarded with governor of Fl. Seems in America the worse you are the better you are treated.

    • charleo1 says:

      There is a certain group that worships money, and those that have managed to acquire
      a lot of it. And they are not that particular how the money was made.

  5. Pamby50 says:

    I sure hope you Floridians vote him out in 2014. What a disgrace.

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