Rick Scott: Obamacare Fight Is Just Beginning

By: Jim Turner | Posted: July 3, 2012 3:55 AM
Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott | Credit: Gage Skidmore - Flickr

Florida’s fight against Obamacare isn’t over, no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court rules, Gov. Rick Scott reiterated in televised interviews on Monday.

And the Affordable Care Act should be one of the defining issues of this year’s presidential and other federal elections.

Scott released a statement Sunday declaring that Florida will join South Carolina and any other state that opts out of the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act and won't set up insurance exchanges, the optional measures of the law.

On Monday, appearing on Fox News and CNBC’s Squawk Box, Scott vowed that he and Attorney General Pam Bondi, who continued the state’s opposition to the law all the way to the Supreme Court, would make repealing the federal law a hallmark of their terms, before the costs of the federal program become a burden for Florida’s taxpayers once it kicks in in 2014.

“It’s not free,” Scott said on Fox News. “It’s $1.9 billion a year. You’re still paying it. Florida taxpayers are paying federal taxes and (the federal government is) only going to cover it for the first three years, then Florida taxpayers are going to be on the hook.”

Scott added that having to shift money in the state budget to cover increases in Medicaid will come at the expense of public education.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report estimates that the Act would expand coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians, extending coverage to anyone earning less than $14,500 a year. Currently, a parent earning less than $6,478 a year is covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

For Scott and Bondi electing officials such as presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other like-minded congressional candidates this year should be the first step in halting the law.

Scott said getting people jobs, where they offer health care coverage, should be the priority of officials. Also, coverage should reward people for not smoking, exercising, eating right.

“If you want to fix the system, and you actually want to make sure that people get health care, then use the free market,” Scott said. “Make sure that individuals know what things cost. Make sure providers (are available and offer) more competition, which drives down the price.”

Bondi has called the law an “overreach” by the federal government.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in Florida's Legislature are urging Scott to implement the law and solve Florida’s health care crisis.

State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, claims Scott is putting ideology over his constitutional obligations.

“Pitting health care reform against education funding is the same false argument Governor Scott attempted to use during the last legislative session," Rich, who is running for governor in 2014, stated in a release.

"This is the same governor that wanted to slash public education by 10 percent; the same governor that signed a budget raiding public universities’ reserves and operating funds by $300 million; the same governor who has no problem doling out hundreds of millions of unaccountable tax dollars to corporations to create phantom jobs; and the same governor that touts a dropping unemployment rate but ignores the real reason that rate is dropping – namely, that more Floridians are simply giving up because his ‘job-creating’ strategy has been just another empty promise.

“One of the greatest ironies in his decision to forestall any action until the presidential election is the fact that the candidate he’s supporting created an almost identical health care system while governor of Massachusetts – with the exception that his mandated penalties for failing to obtain 'Romneycare' were much higher than the new national plan.

Florida House Democratic Leader-designate Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, called Scott's push against Obamacare "a colossal abdication" of responsibility.

“Lost in Governor Scott’s insensitive statements in the wake of the ruling on the Affordable Care Act is an apparent failure to recognize that all Florida residents and businesses have an inherent stake in making sure there are good health outcomes for Floridians," Thurston stated in a release. "The status quo only continues a costly reliance on hospital emergency rooms for treatment to the poor, which wastes resources and drives up costs for other consumers and businesses.

“Governor Scott’s defiance renders him incapable of recognizing that health insurance exchanges authorized under the Affordable Care Act embrace free-market principles and promote personal responsibility by allowing consumers to comparison shop in purchasing health coverage.”

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 215-9889.


Comments (26)

Victoria A. Lamb, MSHA
4:37PM JUL 16TH 2012
Rick Scott ought to be in prison, based on his involvement in healthcare fraud. Apparently Florida voters are OK with this. In no sense is this man a leader. I can't for the life of me imagine how he ever got elected.
8:23PM JUL 5TH 2012
Heh, it's another day, another unconstitutional unanimous court finding against the Florida Republicans, this time on restricting the commercial speech of public adjusters.

We're well over a dozen unconstitutional court findings by now.

It seems in Florida, under this administration and legislature, we have to force governance through court decrees. Some leadership.

And it appears Rick Scott just wants more of the same for our future.
perri riseman
11:08AM JUL 5TH 2012
obama doesn't include those who have stopped looking for work in his unemployment numbers, but we don't hear sen. rich calling him out on it
1:23PM JUL 5TH 2012
Because then she'd have to include those same numbers in Florida and that'd look really bad for Rick Scott and the Repubicans.
8:43PM JUL 3RD 2012
FALSE HERE - Rick Scott --> “It’s $1.9 billion a year. You’re still paying it. Florida taxpayers are paying federal taxes and (the federal government is) only going to cover it for the first three years, then Florida taxpayers are going to be on the hook.” [PolitiFact 7/3/12]

FALSE ELSEWHERE - Rick Scott, again --> Rationing. Scott said on Fox News Monday night that the ACA will mean health care in this country will be like it is in Great Britain and Canada. "But you don't get it, because it's rationed" [PolitiFact, 7/3/12]

PANTS-ON-FIRE FALSE - Rick Scott --> Scott told Fox's Greta van Susteren on Friday night that he spoke with a small business owner, with only 20 employees, who relayed fears that he would go out of business because he couldn't afford to buy mandatory insurance [PolitiFact, 7/3/12].

Can Rick Scott ever not lie about ANYTHING concerning Obama and the Affordable Care Act, or is his Tea Party rhetoric of "Big Lie" politics just terminal at this point?
John Paul Jones
4:54PM JUL 3RD 2012
Thank you Governor Scott. Hopefully more leaders will emerge nationwide who stand up to this corrupt administration. Let all the liberals who want Obamacare vote with their feet and head for the bankrupt socialist utopias of California and Illinois.
Victoria A. Lamb, MSHA
4:41PM JUL 16TH 2012
You do realize that the price of healthcare will continue to rise in your state. At some point you will wish you could get to California or Illinois. But you will probably die in Florida.
David Kearns
6:04PM JUL 4TH 2012
Only a rank coward shill would use a pseudonym - and an honored one at that - to defend a corporatist enema in the executive form who wishes to destroy the lives of his fellow citizens for the sake of some perverted version of conservatism that knows neither Christianity, humanity, fellowship, temperance, sanity or democracy. Tell the creature of the Kochs to whom you answer we are coming for him. My given name is found at the top of this reply.
John Paul Jones
11:45PM JUL 5TH 2012
Wow! You are one tough internet commenter. I'm so impressed. I bet you have a really good play station record. Come on nails, show me some more creative online tough talk!!! What, are you hoping to meet up after school...online of course cause people like you never come out in the daylight. Really, you need to come up with some more cool posts. You even have a fan to impress. Maybe it's a chick. Comb your hair before your next threatening comment she might be watching! Now grow up little boy and clean up your mom's basement.
Rafael Ciordia
10:42AM JUL 5TH 2012
Here here! Well said DK.
6:26PM JUL 3RD 2012
What don't you understand about it's the "Law of the Land".

It will happen right here in Florida. Oh, Rick Scott may delay implementation of a few optional provisions, but he won't have a say in implementation of most of the law, so I don't have to go to Illinois.

Oh, but you may wish to once medical costs continue to sky rocket here in Florida due to Scott's "Let'em have emergency room care" strategy of driving up Florida's medical insurance costs.

Yes, with its future of toll roads everywhere; paying for private schools, prisons and hospitals with public money; shifting all possible state costs onto local governments; increased fees for parks, licenses and services while providing up to $1 billion in public subsidies to for-profit private development to relocate into the state, plus tax breaks for the few years they're here; and the impoverishment of our university system forcing students to have to pay for significantly increased tuition; you actually may want to relocate out of Florida to one of them liberal states that got it right, 'cause Florida's no longer going to be affordable in the future.

And for that, you'll be able to thank Rick Scott, and the sheeple Tea Party legislators who follow the dictates of state Senators like Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander who got his term limited going away gifts of growth management legislation that directly provide for his massive development plans in central Florida, along with his own, un-needed new university and major new Central Florida tollroad system. All being paid for at the public money trough.

I mean Rick Scott's already been there once, making hundreds of millions while CEO from a medical company involved in having to pay out about $2 billion for its massive Medicare fraud from the public.

How much do you think will be able to be made from the public trough during his tenure as CEO of the fourth largest state?

Yes, your Florida has quite a future - just expect to pay through the nose to all those special interests out there, and receive little to nothing in return.

The Tea Parties should be so proud - they've now gotten themselves into a circular firing squad, with only the rich getting richer and all from your public money being used for private interests.
6:36PM JUL 6TH 2012
People, you have to remember that Rick Scott is a crook, no doubt about it. He is also a health care pimp, he has made and is still making money in the health care industry so he is not going to support a bill that may reduce his and his freinds profits. Most of the politicians that oppose this health care bill, social security, pensions and retirement benefits already have great coverage of these plans and trust me, they do not want to discuss their coverage, nor give them up. Wake up people, we are the only industrialized nation to not provide planned health care coverage for all of its citizens. Food, shelter, clothing, water and healthcare are basic necessities of life and this great nation is more than capable of insuring that all of its citizens have these required items.
John Paul Jones
9:47AM JUL 4TH 2012
Everything gets paid for you moron. The question is how many extra people get paid for a transaction between one and his doctor. How many government losers do you want to pay for that service in addition to the service deliverers and the insurance. Government involvement is what drives the price up. Well I guess it all seems so nice when you think other people are paying that extra cost for you...parasite.
Victoria A. Lamb, MSHA
5:04PM JUL 16TH 2012
Your are a thoroughly nasty person, John Paul Jones. And you are not very honest. The cost to the consumer of health care is what the doctor or hospital charges, with additions for the cost to your doctor for her office space and administrative staff salaries, the price of pharmaceuticals (cancer drugs can cost $1800 a month, for examples, and if you receive chemotherapy in your doctor's office you will be billed for them), a portion of the depreciation on any multimillion imaging equipment you encounter in your healthcare journey, whatever uncompensated care your local hospital needs to shift to you, the price of durable medical equipment (hospital bed for home use, walkers, hoveround, prosthetics, etc.). Notice I haven't mentioned any government agencies. That's because Florida doesn't want to participate in the Affordable Care Act, so you won't get anything but your already scheduled Medicaid help. You will be able to negotiate your own health insurance in the private sector (with all that entails) or use Medicare and watch your premiums rise until they are beyond what you can afford with the vouchers the Republicans have given you to go out and buy insurance with.
10:55AM JUL 4TH 2012
You really don't understand how this medical system works, do you?

I can see that the beginnings of Mad Hatter Disorder are still present, or are the demonizing "moron" and "parasite" just involuntarily coming out.

In that case, the disorder must be progressing. I'm sorry, a mind is such a terrible facility to lose. The involuntary utterance of socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks is known as coprolalia, is a clear progressive symptom of Mad Hatter Disorder, and unfortunately, in your case, it does appear to be progressing.

I would suggest you quickly seek professional help.

Might I suggest a list of qualified physicians supporting the new Affordable Care Act?
John Paul Jones
11:51PM JUL 5TH 2012
You crack me up Frankie. I hope those low paid quacks you might refer me to are open soon before the line even for crappy docs is ten years long to get in for a check-up. Well actually before the 2700 page law gets repealed. The only thing I wonder about you is whether you are one of the completely unproductive liberals hoping to live off of other people's money, or one of the arrogant liberals who fancy yourself as one of the leadership class. Either way, you are a sad example of an American...if you are American. If not then you are just a funny guy.
2:06AM JUL 6TH 2012
Yes, I'm sure in your own mind anyone who would disagree with you can't be a "real" American.

Yes, I'm sure in your own mind all doctors that belong to the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association which are supporting the Affordable Care Act are all quacks and crappy doctors.

Yes, I'm sure in your own mind, everyone who doesn't believe what you do must be unproductive, living off other people's money and arrogantly think of themselves as the "leadership class".

So sad, so sad, you really do need help for your delusions of self-importance as has now become abundantly clear to everyone.

Seek help, seek help soon.
2:15PM JUL 3RD 2012
For those who want to know, Rick Scott lied about the cost of the plan. But don't take my word for it, see what PolitiFact has to say about it...
Family Man
9:03AM JUL 3RD 2012
Don't you just love liberals who trash the constitution on a daily basis wrap themselves in it only when it suits their situation and needs? Today they love the constitution and the Supreme Court for Obamacare. Yesterday they punished Arizona.

Obamacare is a house of cards that will come tumbling down taking the economy with it. It does not reward hardworking Americans nor does it encourage self-reliance and personal responsibility for our actions. It rewards laziness and irresponsibility. The Great Society’s programs encouraged fathers to abandon their families and rewarded single mothers. More and more Americans (46%) do NOT PAY INCOME TAXES and why should they work for a living as long as they have someone to promise them the world?
9:31AM JUL 3RD 2012
No, in this state, it's an every other day event, as one after another of Rick Scott's (and Tea Party Republican Legislature's) partisan initiatives get found to be unconstitutional one after another. Yesterday was no different (physicians and gun speach, 1st amendment).

We've had good reason to know both the Florida and U.S. Constitution as it has been the Republicans who want to trash them every other day.

You must just be visiting or you'd know that.
8:24AM JUL 3RD 2012
Governor Scott....one question: I understand why you wouldn't want to increase those eligible for Medicaid but why not set up exchanges to help those of us who can't get insurance? I am self-employed and had cancer several years ago. I cannot get insurance due to my pre-existing condition. The only way for me to get insurance is to close my company and, if I"m lucky, find someone willing to hire me who provides health insurance for their employees. What is your solution to help people like me? I saw you on Fox and you dodged the question about everyone in Florida being able to have insurance twice. Your answer, "if people get jobs, they will have insurance." That is your solution?
5:54AM JUL 3RD 2012
Sigh . . . . this is getting old, Governor . . . . perhaps it's time to put you in a "time out" since you keep acting like a truculent 12-year old constantly throwing tantrums when you can't get your way.

On a day when you've lost another constitutional ruling (this time on prohibiting doctors' first amendment right to discuss guns with their patients), you demonstrate once again that you don't really care about the citizens (employees) under your CEO-style leadership.

You'd rather have the poor obtaining their health care expensively at emergency rooms than through medicaid paid 100% to 90% by the federal government until at least 2020. That's guaranteed to drive up everyone else's health care costs in the state - the hospitals that provide emergency care, and the insurance companies that have to reflect those hospital costs in insurance rates. What have you accomplished - NOTHING, except driving up health costs.

And the medical insurance exchanges - if the state doesn't help set them up, the feds will. What have you accomplished - NOTHING, except having no say in the exchanges.

Great CEO leadership, just like at Columbia/HCA which experienced the largest fined Medicare fraud for activities occurring during your tenure.

Now you'd abandon a role in your poorest citizens' health care needs. Pathetic.

We need a Governor who actually cares about the citizens of this state, and not one who still thinks his role is as a CEO and wants to throw a "fire everyone" tanturm whenever the courts rule against him and his idealogical beliefs.

We need grown up leadership, and not that of one reflecting a truculent 12-year old who keeps having to have the adults tell him by court decree when he can and can't do what he wants to do.
Andrew Nappi
4:42AM JUL 3RD 2012
The ABSOLUTE "Obamacare" Killer? State NULLIFICATION

We are all familiar with the cliche definition of insanity. Why then, do we still look to Washington D.C., to the White House, the Congress and the Courts to solve the very problems they have created? That's insane.

The solution to ridding Florida of the Patient Care Affordability Act or "Obamacare" lawlessness is NULLIFICATION!

The States,who are the creators of the federal government and who agree to its existence by a compact we call the constitution are fully empowered to decide for themselves to not comply with any act that is outside the scope of federal authority as enumerated in the constitution.

The Florida Tenth Amendment Center in conjunction with LibertyTakeOver 2012 is fully committed to the nullification of The Affordability Act in our State of Florida.

"States should not fear the consequences of nullification. As per Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, Congress is not permitted to penalize states that refuse to implement ObamaCare. In the majority decision, Chief Justice Roberts stated, “What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding. However, he added, “Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the [law] to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use.”

Are you willing to trade this latest loss of LIBERTY for a few extra "federal dollars?"

Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey contends that states that utilize nullification to reject ObamaCare are simply responding to a rebellious federal government that refuses to act within its constitutional limits:

"Who is really behaving lawlessly here? A federal government that refuses to operate within its delegated powers, and rips authority away from the states and the people? Or the states, working through legitimate democratic processes, saying, "No! We don’t accept this"? I would argue it’s the federal government that’s in rebellion, and it’s time for the states to put a check on illegitimate federal power."

1. Pledge to vote ONLY for those running for Florida State House and the Florida Senate who will introduce or co-sponsor our Federal Health Care Nullification Act by signing the petition below.

2. Click HERE and print out the Florida Healthcare Nullification Act and give it to the candidates in your area and ask them to sign it.

3. E-Mail the signed copy to alex@libertytakeover2012.com or mail it to 1334 Tampa Road, Suite 2 Palm Harbor, Florida 34683

4. If the State House or State Senate candidate in your district WILL NOT SIGN the Federal Health Care Nullification pledge, let them know they DO NOT HAVE YOUR VOTE regardless of party affiliation and E-Mail alex@libertytakeover2012.com the name of the candidate who would not sign it.

Let the incumbents and those who aspire to State government KNOW that you are dead serious and will not be compromised on this issue:

I_________________________pledge my vote to ONLY that candidate for Florida House or Senate who will introduce or co sponsor the Tenth Amendment Center Federal Health Care Nullification Act.
2:11PM JUL 3RD 2012
There he goes again. . . .

Nullification, a myth that the Supreme Court has shot down whenever it's been raised.

Mr. Nappi has not provided one modern U.S. Supreme Court case supporting this unique legal theory that the states can nullify and override federal legislation they don't like. In fact, the court has stated just the opposite, in line with Articles III and IV of the Constitution.

We're not refighting slavery, nor even segregation, again.

Grow up, Mr. Nappi, and join the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and stop nonsense we can easily show has no merit and wastes everyone's time and valuable commenting space.

Or sue the federal government based on your nullification theory.

We'd LOVE to see that foolishness. Of course you don't have the conviction of your beliefs. You're not willing to open yourself to the resulting court abuse, are you?

No, you're just another self-aggrandizing right wing nut, oblivious to the reality around you, but important in your own mind.
Andrew Nappi
6:29PM JUL 3RD 2012
Nullification exists exactly because the Courts, creations of the States, cannot be over ridden by the people, who are the ultimate sovereigns. You argue with the myth of case law, yet nullification exists as I have pointed out before with medical marijuana,REAL ID and the military arrest and detention provisions of NDAA 2012.
Meanwhile, hiding behind one name only, if it's even real, you resort to name calling, a sure sign of the weak mind.
I will not dignify your comments any further or attempt to dialogue with someone who is ignorant of his country's history and constitution.
7:13PM JUL 3RD 2012
Of course you don't want a dialogue, because you can't fight easily provable facts.

As I said, the key test is take your nullification to this conservative Supreme Court and see what happens. I know, because it's already happened several times in my lifetime. They'll throw nullification out . . . .again, and likely it will be 9-0.

See, for example, Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) where the court (9-0) stated that for integration, that its implementation "can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive or judicial officers nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes for segregation whether attempted 'ingeniously or ingenuously.' "

We can also cite earlier Supreme Court cases, if you'd like, some even BEFORE the Civil War.

The question still remains - where is your U.S. Supreme Court case upholding nullification? ANSWER - there aren't any.

My previous comments all stand.

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