Contrary to what he said just days ago, Florida Governor Rick Scott said last night he refuses to comply with President Obama's Affordable Care Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court this week. He says he won't expand it's Medicaid program which largely benefits the poor and the elderly, the most vulnerable people in need.
This will hardly come as a surprise to many in Florida as Scott has made a practice of cutting nearly everything that would help the poor, the sick, the homeless, children, homeless veterans, and the elderly, just to name a few. It's also no shock that he would turn down money and anything that creates jobs just because it comes from President Obama.
What may cause you to take a step back, think for a minute, think for a few more and then attempt to twist your mind into the equivalent of a brain pretzel in order to see it is his reasoning for doing so.
This is what he told Greta Van Susteren last night on FOX-GOP-TV:
"We're not going to expand Medicaid because we're going to do the right thing."
Scott doesn't go on to elaborate what the "right thing" would be, just assures you he'll do it. Which means "doing the right thing" is basically telling the poor, sick and the elderly they can die destitute before he'll comply with "the wishes" of President Obama no matter what the Supreme Court says. Rick Scott seems to think laws don't apply to him when he disagrees with them. Just ask judges. Instead Scott makes use of mythical math, magical thinking, and his overblown ego combined wtih good old fashioned arrogance to thumb his nose at the President, the Supreme Court, Floridians and the law.
"We're not going to implement Obamacare in Florida, we're not going to expand Medicaid because we're going to do the right thing," Scott said Friday night during an interview on Fox News. He also said the Medicaid expansion would cost Florida taxpayers $1.9 billion a year, but it's unclear how he arrived at that figure. Emails sent to Scott's staff were not immediately returned Saturday.
Scott said the state will not expand the Medicaid program in order to lower the number of uninsured residents, nor will Florida set up a state-run health exchange, a marketplace where people who need insurance policies could shop for them.
"We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians, but this is an expansion that just doesn't make any sense," he told Fox host Greta Van Susteren.
What doesn't make sense are Scott's excuses. Never mind that the state could get around $2 billion. Never mind that it would extend coverage to those with low incomes. Never mind that Florida is third in the nation with the highest percentage of the uninsured and drives costs higher for all of us. Never mind that along with that federal money comes job creation.
Never mind that it would save lives.
The former Columbia/HCA hospital chain owner, who should understand all this quite well, says Florida "can't afford" to implement the Medicaid expansion:
"I don't know how we're ever going to be able to afford it," Scott said. "Look at how tough our budgets are."
"Look how tough our budgets are" says the man who makes budget cuts with such relish that he has personalized red Sharpies made just for the occasion, surrounding himself with human shields in the form of the very school children who are some of his biggest victims. Every time Rick Scott merely says the words "tough and budget" the neediest among us is sacrificed as funds are shifted elsewhere.
It must take great deal of self control for Scott to keep a straight face to say "we just can't afford it" on camera. But hey, budgets are tough and numbers are even harder for Scott. Especially the ones that don't add up. There would be a lot more money in the budget if Scott didn't hand out $1 billion contributions in corporate welfare on our behalf tax cuts for "job creators" for jobs he can't justify, while cutting unemployment benefits at the same time.
Nope. Scott has his own "math" and in part controls the numbers, but says "we can't afford" the Medicaid program. Instead, he'll just "do the right thing." He can give tax cuts for the next three years to a business in exchange for jobs that may never materialize, but won't give a penny to the poor even if their lives depend on it.
Well, guess what Governor Scott? Their lives depend on it.
Just as he ignores numbers he doesn't like, Scott seems to think laws that everyone else has to live by don't apply to him and his "kingdom." When the Affordable Care Act became law, Scott said he wouldn't implement the law in Florida. He said "It's not the law of the land. I don't believe it will ever be the law of the land."
It was the law then and it's the law now, and what's Scott doing about it? He's sitting there in Tallahassee with his Rick Scott Sharpies wearing his Rick Scott custom made alligator big boy governor boots, pretending he's "Supreme Executive" of "the land" where laws don't apply and where people die every day without health insurance, talking tough saying he won't implement the Affordable Care Act and you can't make him! And why?
Because it's "Obamacare" that's why!