Rick Scott Goes After Obama Raiding Medicare to Fund Obamacare; Dems Push Back

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 26, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

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 Obama’s 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 Obama’s 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 Obama’s 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 Scott’s 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 kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (17)

Carolyn Watter
5:31PM APR 21ST 2014
A shock to learn I am going to lose a third of my SS because the State of Florida does no longer participate. Granted it is for 1 month and then I receive a lower "Entitlement" monthly. And they are wanting to vote themselves a raise. If my pay was $174,000.00 I could live very well. This Golden age is not what I expected all those years I worked my buns off.
11:13AM FEB 26TH 2014

I couldn't agree more! Medicare is a separate trust fund that was set up DECADES ago for all of the baby boomers who are retiring now. How dare anybody go in and steal their money!
Tim C
11:12AM FEB 26TH 2014
No one knows more about Medicare fraud than Rick Scott. He is a leader in defrauding Medicare from his days at Columbia HCA. No one embraces lying, cheating and greed better than politicians.
Olivia H
11:11AM FEB 26TH 2014
The nerve!!!
Scott bought his election. He is an embarrasment to the state of Florida. Speaking of insurance what about his not wanting to expand medicaid. Poor seniors depend on Medicare and Medicaid for healthcare.
Concerned Citizen
11:07AM FEB 26TH 2014
I'm not sure what's going on in Florida, but Scott is not completely in the wrong, regardless of his personal actions. I work first hand for a hospital system in TN, specifically the accounting department that deals primarily with Medicare reimbursement. And yes, Obamacare has dramatically slashed Medicare funding. We are even losing hospitals as a result. And yes, our system has had to turn away seniors for certain procedures, because we can't afford to eat the cost. Puddin is right, however, that there are a lot of circumstances that go into this, such as readmissions and what not. But that can be shaky at times, depending on the patient. I am not going to condone either republicans or democrats here, but offer this advice. Take what Karp is saying with a grain of salt, as well as Scott. Scott may have very well robbed Medicare, but that's just a smoke screen being thrown out to attach his character, and take away from his message. Just because he might be a scum bag doesn't neccessarily mean he's wrong about what he's saying. Karp barely addresses the actual issue proposed. This is a tactic used frequently by both parties. I like the idea of a national health care, but I fear our country is not quite ready to make the jump. It is very costly in other aspects, and hasn't been perfected. I feel it has been way too rushed. Just keep an open mind, and don't get caught up in left-wing right-wing nonsense.
B Davis
10:58AM FEB 26TH 2014
If someone can tell a few lies and derail Obama I am all for it.
Keep up the good work!
anonymous patriot
10:58AM FEB 26TH 2014
Got Obama care save tons of money by switching to paying the fines at the end of the year oh and plus you still save by paying the the regular doctors bills at cost just because Obama care cost too damn much affordable healthcare my ass and 4 million people signed up plz that number is only there to make the president look good if 4 million people signed up how come everyone I talk to here in the south wants nothing to do with Obama care? I don't believe anything that comes out of this mans mouth at all. I hope we get a way better president in 2016 if we don't America is screwed.
11:15AM FEB 26TH 2014
Anonymous Patriot, you are a dumb ass.
Alastair Edward
10:53AM FEB 26TH 2014
Gov. Rick Fraudster Scott is the last person on the planet who should complain about ripping off Medicare. His whole fortune is founded on the practice. It was a very very bad day for Florida when he crawled out from under his rock and carpetbagged his worthless butt to Florida.
What ever
10:42AM FEB 26TH 2014
Doesn't Scott have a lot of passed experience of ripping people off with their healthcare? Isn't that how he got rich by stealing senoirs health benefits?
Mark S.
10:33AM FEB 26TH 2014
What a tool. Where were the Republicans to help make this a great program? Nowhere? They spent hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars fighting their own plan. They could have put a little (not a lot) just a little time into this instead of trying to put through over 700 anti-abortion bills. They could have actually worked FOR America instead of crashing the economy and shutting it down twice. Republican is a code word for Fascists for the rich.
don gross
10:28AM FEB 26TH 2014
Rick go back to sleep, we really don't need you
10:28AM FEB 26TH 2014
Not only is this not true, it is old-not-true.
Scott has no credibility.
PuddinOn TheRitz
10:24AM FEB 26TH 2014
These lies have been debunked countless times yet Scott insists on repeating them. But why let facts dictate your campaign message..

Obamacare does not literally cut funding from the Medicare budget, but tries to bring down future health care costs in the program. Much of this is accomplished by reducing Medicare Advantage, a small subset of Medicare plans that are run by private insurers.

President George W. Bush started Medicare Advantage in hopes the increased competition would reduce costs. But those plans are actually costlier than traditional Medicare. So the health care law reduces payments to private insurers. Read that again. The healthcare law reduces payments to iinsurance companies. IE, it spends less money; also know as saving money.

Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care.

The goal is get health care providers to increase their efficiency and quality of care instead of cutting benefits for seniors.

In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan scorekeeper of fiscal legislation, estimated that the reductions in Medicare spending in the Affordable Care Act we about $507 billion between 2012 and 2021. A more recent estimate from 2013 anticipated about $716 billion in Medicare savings from 2013-2022.

It’s also worth noting that the preferred plan of Republicans in 2012, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, assumed the same cuts to Medicare.
Marky the P
10:24AM FEB 26TH 2014
He can say what ever he likes. Scott has been the worse governor in our states history and he will be gone soon enough.
Christine Howe
10:22AM FEB 26TH 2014
Rick Scott should be voted OUT! The man is a criminal and a greedy thief and is NOW complaining about health care? He stole millions and wants to keep the medical system the same so he and his wife can steal even more. Vote him out of office, please!
tommy boi
10:13AM FEB 26TH 2014
I suppose we should have done nothing right? Not that I support our dear president but I do think it's time I get what I pay for with my health insurance premiums. I, for one, am sick of the healthcare industry raping my wallet.

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