Obamacare Huge Separation Point for Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 15, 2014 3:55 AM
Charlie Crist and Rick Scott

Charlie Crist and Rick Scott

The Florida gubernatorial race heated up this week as the two leading candidates clashed over President Barack Obama's controversial health care law on the national airwaves.

If there is a single polarizing issue for Gov. Rick Scott and his predecessor, it is Obamacare.

Scott appeared on the Fox Business Network to showcase Florida’s economy, but more pointedly to dig away at the health care law.

“Florida’s going to continue to do well because we have lower taxes, we have less regulation,” Scott said, as companies continue to invest in Florida. “We’ve got the expansion of the Panama Canal. We’re the gateway to Latin America.

"But the country is going to hurt, unless we get less taxes out of the federal government, less regulation out of the federal government. It’s all those things the federal government is doing that are hurting jobs. We are continuing to prosper because of no income tax, we're a right-to-work state, the gateway to Latin America. Look at our weather. People want to be in our state.”

Scott also pointed toward education gains in Florida and contrasted the situation in the Sunshine State to those around the nation.

“We’re going to continue to win but the federal government has got to change,” Scott said. “We need lower taxes out of the federal government, less regulation, less Obamacare. We need to have changed a federal government. But Florida, we’re doing great.”

Scott rose to political prominence by opposing Obama’s health care law after his career in the private sector, including hospital management such as his stint at HCA/Columbia. But he recalled his younger years on Thursday as he pushed against the law.

“I grew up in a family that struggled for jobs,” Scott said. “I lived in public housing growing up. I remember when my dad got his car repossessed. People want jobs. If we want more health care for Floridians, we need more jobs.”

Scott called for the repeal of the federal health-care law, arguing it's a job-killer.

“Obamacare needs to be repealed,” Scott said before weighing in on the latest delay in enacting the employer mandate. Earlier this week, the Obama administration moved back the employer mandate on companies with 50 to 99 employees until 2015. “The president knows it’s a bad law. That’s why he’s delaying it (until after the election).”

“We need to have a significant change and it absolutely needs to be repealed,” Scott said.

Continuing to make the rounds to promote his book on why he left the GOP to run partyless for the U.S. Senate n 2010 before becoming a Democrat at the end of 2012, Crist also made a national appearance Thursday. He visited “Politicking with Larry King” on oraTV. During his appearance on King’s show, Crist defended the health-care law.

“Where does Obamacare stand in Florida?” King asked Crist.

“It’s not in a good place because we have a governor who is trying to thwart it at every turn,” Crist replied before contrasting Scott with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky on implementing the federal health-care law. “Here in Florida, Rick Scott is standing in the way of it.”

Crist then went after Scott’s record at HCA/Columbia, during which that company paid $1.7 billion in fines to the federal government over Medicaid fraud. “The issues we’ll focus on will be ethics, No. 1,” said Crist, who made no mention of questions he faces on his own ethics issues -- particularly after the accusation by former friend Scott Rothstein that Crist traded judgeships for campaign contributions in 2009.

Asked by King what took the United States so long to pass a national health-care plan, Crist said, “There are a lot of strong forces that wanted for it not to happen.”

Crist went out of his way to praise Obama for passing the health-care law, though he noted “other fine presidents” including Bill Clinton had tried. “This is the only president that’s ever gotten it done,” Crist said. “This is where we are. It has taken a long time. My hat is off to this administration. ...”

The new Democrat also said that while there were problems setting up the new health-care law, including major technical issues with its website, those were being resolved. “It will take time to get kinks out but I’m confident they will,” Crist said.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (3)

Independent Thinker
1:31PM FEB 16TH 2014
Seems Rick Scott is forgetting that he came out in favor of the Medicaid expansion, which is the most important element of Obamacare any state governor can have the power to decide about for their state.

I'm sure he hopes voters will forget, too.
11:58AM FEB 15TH 2014
Is COMMON CORE a conservative movement started by the conservative governor's association?

Why does the Obama administration reward those who attach to it freely without questions with RACE TO THE TOP federal grants?

If COMMON CORE is not really a conservative movement why then was it a JEB BUSH PUSH and why would a conservative like JEB BUSH be the national leader calling for it's inception in every state in the union.

Why is COMMON CORE required reading for students use The Prentice Hall World History Book published by Pearson (Texas) which lauds Islam which barely touching other religions especially Christianity?

Why is The Bluest Eye ia 1970 novel by American author Toni Morrison also required reading by the 11th grade level?

Can anyone who really understands the requirements of COMMON CORE be a conservative or a member of the so called "right"?

The facts do not support that! Anyone who supports common core has an agenda to control the minds of our youth. parents, teachers and other with brains, do your homework. Find out what Common Core really is. Home Schoolers and private schoolers think they are exempt from common core standards, this is not true! COMMON CORE will effect every student in every of the 50 states when it is full y enacted.
7:52PM FEB 15TH 2014
There are certainly elements of truth in what you say. What I can't understand is why people seem to be just now waking up to this with "Common Core", when y'all have been looking at "the Public Broadcasting Service" for years! (Don't you notice what they do there?)

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