As he gears up to run for a second term, Gov. Rick Scott came back to a familiar theme this week: his opposition to President Barack Obamas federal health-care law.
After a career in the private sector, which included help founding the Columbia Hospital Corp. which later became Columbia/HCA, Scott rocketed to political prominence in 2009 and 2010 by leading Conservatives for Patients Rights opposing Obamas health-care law. Scott would continue stressing his opposition to the health care law during his successful gubernatorial campaign in 2010.
Scott met with Obama at the White House on Monday. After the meeting, Scott focused on Obama using funds from Medicare Advantage to fund the health care law.
If the president cares about our seniors he needs to fix Obamacare immediately, Scott said. We learned last week that Medicare is being raided to pay for Obamacare which is hurting our seniors who could lose access to the doctors they liked and were told they could keep. We need to give our seniors a voice and ask the president directly to not pay for Obamacare by raiding Medicare. He has stopped and delayed other broken parts of the health care law. He should do the same with this.
Scott doubled down on that theme in a new Web video ad released on Tuesday. In the new video, Scott calls Obamas proposal to take funds from Medicare Advantage to fund the health care law wrong for Florida seniors.
"Seniors retire based on a belief that they have a health care system that's going to be there," said Scott. "We already know that 300,000 people in our state were told they were going to lose their insurance. But now, under Medicare, we're seeing these dramatic rate cuts.
"These Medicare cuts that the president's caused are the wrong thing for Florida seniors," added Scott.
The Florida Democratic Party pushed back on Tuesday, noting that during Scotts tenure there, Columbia/HCA paid $1.7 billion in fines to the federal government over Medicare fraud.
"Maybe Rick Scott should stick to pleading the Fifth when discussing Medicare, Joshua Karp, a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party, said on Tuesday. Rick Scott is saying Democrats are committing Medicare robbery, when in fact he's the ultimate Medicare thief. He lost the right to accuse Democrats of raiding Medicare when he oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the nation's history. Rick Scott's company stole money that should have gone to health care for seniors.
"The fact is that Medicare Advantage was supposed to save taxpayers' money, and now it's costing them more than classic Medicare, Karp added. The savings in the new health care law are being invested right back into our health care.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.