Great Scott!

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Great Scott!

scott
Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Does anyone remember what drove Florida Governor Rick Scott into the national spotlight? That’s right, he is the man who led the effort to rid this country of the nefarious Affordable Care Act, better known by its derisive name Obamacare. In fact, with the backing of the Tea Party, Mr. Scott rode right into the Governor’s house on the promise to not do a single thing to enact Obamacare in Florida. He then went even further by trying to take away affordable health care for the entire country.

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Governor Scott had been a national leader in the fight against President Obama’s healthcare takeover. He was elected because of his determination not to implement ObamaCare, and led the charge to take Obamacare to the Supreme Court. He talked like a tough guy saying that there is no way the Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid will happen on his watch. Tough words, too bad they were as meaningless as his Tea Party Bonafides.

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Scott is the latest Republican governor hypocrite to come out in support of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, following high profile decisions by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. But it’s hard not to notice a pattern among those who now embrace whole heartedly Obamacare. Let’s find the common denominator, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Why look! They are all in charge of states that have a very large Latino population. What a coinkydink!

Brewer
Brewer and Obama

While I’m sure they held their noses while agreeing to provide healthcare to their neediest constituents, it’s hard not to remember this picture of Gov. Brewer giving the President the bitchy old lady finger in the face.

Even though she has accepted Obamacare into her life and heart, she likes to remind voters that she still opposes Obamacare, “but let’s face it – uninsured Arizonans get sick just like the rest of us…” REALLY? I had no idea! I thought they just died so they would not be a burden on the rich. How rude of them to get sick.

According to the Atlantic Wire:

The greatest appeal that the Obama campaign had for Hispanic voters turned out to be ObamaCare. And they ran a tremendous amount of their advertising appealing to Hispanic voters. It was the only place in their advertising where they talked about ObamaCare, was into — in it — to the Hispanic community, because an extraordinary percentage of Hispanic voters are uninsured.

Oh dear God, now these frauds are pandering to the Latino community they just recently tossed under the bus and ran over twice while screaming “illegals!” What is sure to make me laugh everytime I read it, is Governor Scott’s seemingly heartfelt attitude towards those who are the uninsured in his state.
“While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of new people in Medicaid, I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care,” Scott said at a press conference.

Except he did, in good conscience, try to keep affordable health care from millions of people. And most notably, he also spent $20 million of his own money and took his message of “screw the poor” all the way to the United States Supreme Court. He did every single thing he and his Tea Party cohorts could do to keep any kind of affordable health care from millions of Americans.

"Please sir, I want some more."
“Please sir, I want some more.”

So why the flip-flop? Could it be that Gov. Scott and his compadres have, just like the Grinch, felt their hearts grow from a speck of dirt to actual beating muscles of compassion? HA! I could not write that without bursting out laughing. There is speculation that Scott made a deal with the Obama administration. But it’s more likely that the decision was a direct result of the US Department of Health and Human Services agreeing to grant Florida a waiver that would allow it to move more Medicaid recipients into private managed-care plans-many of which are part of huge corporate insurance companies waiting to cash in on the latest installment of Obamacare. (The Medicaid expansion is expected to send $66 billion in federal funds to Florida in the next decade.)

At a press conference this week, Gov. Scott promises that expanding the entitlement on a trial basis won’t present an undue burden on state taxpayers since the federal government will pick up 100% of the costs for the first three years. The state can then re-evaluate the program before making a long-term commitment. Aha! Maybe after three years, when Gov. Scott is safely re-elected and the insurance program needs to be re-evaluated, he can then decide, it’s too expensive and take it away. That should work well. Except once Florida enrolls new Medicaid recipients it will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove them.

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Oh and by the way, before becoming Governor on an uber conservative platform, Mr. Scott was the CEO of Columbia/HCA in the 1990s. So he is well aware of the fraud and waste that plague many health care companies, which in turn drive up the premiums they charge their subscribers. In fact, Mr. Scott is personally aware of this problem because his own company was investigated in a massive fraud scandal. According to the Miami Herald, in 2010:

However, federal investigators found that Scott took part in business practices at Columbia/HCA that were later found to be illegal — specifically, that Scott and other executives offered financial incentives to doctors in exchange for patient referrals, in violation of federal law, according to lawsuits the Justice Department filed against the company in 2001.

Of course Mr. Scott was never charged with any crimes and pled ignorance to all charges. Basically, to save his ass, he told the investigators, that while he was CEO, he had absolutely no idea what was going on with his company. Not even the 14 felonies committed while he was the head banana. Makes you wonder, is this his normal incompetent leadership?

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Whatever his reasons, the good news is that the implementation of the Medicare Expansion will undoubtedly save the state money. More people insured means less reliance on Emergency Room visits that the state taxpayers ultimately pay for. Insured people tend to be healthier and more productive. A sick population cannot work, therefore are not paying as much in taxes, and are a burden to the rest of the state. A healthy population drives down health related costs and creates a more productive population.

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It’s not just simple math, it’s simple compassion, something these Governors, may just be able to learn. Hey, how long before Governor Rick Perry folds? I’m taking bets now.

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