ruse |ro͞oz, ro͞os|noun an action intended to deceive someone; a trick
Yesterday during a news conference over his meeting with the HHS concerning Medicaid and his failed attempt to get another extension of LIP funds to fill his self-created budget crater, a reporter asked Rick Scott some pointed questions about his stance on Medicaid now, as opposed to his stance on it in 2013, when he briefly claimed he supported expansion prior to his reelection campaign.
While it shouldn't have, Scott's response "shocked" many, including those in the media. I would say that anyone who's been paying attention to him all these years should hardly be surprised, but nevertheless, he did indeed hit a new low yesterday.
At issue here is the governor's current position on Medicaid expansion. He has joined the Florida House Republicans in saying it will not be expanded, as opposed to the Senate, but he still wants the previously extended LIP funds which are about to end. Scott and the GOP knew all along the funds would be going away but included them in their budget plans anyway, so their budget plans blew up in their faces. Because they refused to give an inch on Medicaid, the House GOP abruptly quit the session early and went home, while Scott sued the Obama administration, demanding that the funds continue. After his meeting with the HHS, he got his answer on getting those funds: No.
Failing in his attempt to place the blame of his own budget mess on the federal government, Scott pivoted to place the blame on hospitals by coming out with demands that they enter into a profit sharing plan to pick up the slack.
In other words, having taken just about every different position on Medicaid expansion he could think of that will still allow him to block health care from the working poor in Florida, his love of the "free market" has now evolved into a love of socialism.
All of this put him in another constantly evolving awkward position, and it was there where we found him yesterday, trying to spin his newest Medicaid tale.
"Two years ago you did come out in favor of expansion," the reporter asked. "Could you explain to me — were you lying back then — or has something changed, other than an election, between now and then to get you to change your position?"
The AP included part of his convoluted answer here:
"Let's remember what I said back then. It was the day that we were able to get our waivers done," Scott responded.
The story also gave the 2013 version of Scott's reasoning for claiming he then supported Medicaid expansion, which was that he was inspired to change in light of the death of his mother, and reported that "Scott conceded that his earlier support of Medicaid expansion was a "ruse."
Scott took issue with the reporting and issued this statement:
"Governor Scott answered the question by discussing that he came out in support of Medicaid expansion, only if it was fully federally funded, at the same time the federal government granted Florida a waiver to let the state reform its Medicaid system. Unfortunately, the AP editorialized the Governor's statement."
His answer meant nothing and served little purpose, except to scold the press for daring to "editorialize" or interpret his actual words.
The "ruse" in question was his claim of acceptance of expansion as a "calculated move designed to win Obama administration approval for his long-sought proposal to hand control of the existing Medicaid population's health care over to private insurance companies," because just after he got that "waiver" from the federal government and control of Medicaid shifted to private companies, Scott went back to hating Medicaid expansion all over again.
So much for that heartfelt story about inspiration from a dying mother.
And seriously, would anyone expect anything less from a man who ran a company that made history for Medicare fraud, was never charged, but who still got to keep the profits when he was forced to leave said company?
fraud |frôd|noun wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain
As we've come to expect, Scott never really answered the question. He just spewed talking points like a robot, as always. But one part of his answer was telling, whether he intended to give himself away or not. He said part of his problem with Medicaid expansion was that "he doesn't like the notion that "the federal government won't allow us to run a program the way we want to run it." (See his full response here.)
Point taken. Scott wants the federal handout, but without the accountability to the government, nor the taxpayer. Hence the "ruse" he doesn't want called a ruse: He took the waiver, and privatized Medicaid under the current system, which is inadequate. Yet he refuses to expand Medicaid as per "Obamacare" which would fill the coverage gap for those who can't afford insurance, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid (which isn't much at all.) He wants the money, to be spent as he alone sees fit, but he's just not into that whole "insurance coverage" for the taxpayer part, nor the huge savings it would provide as opposed to his version.
To put this in perspective, let's use Rick Scott's own words from his statement back in 2013, when it was supposedly his mother's death, and not funding, full or otherwise, nor waivers for privatizing Medicaid, that inspired him to ever so briefly pretend to care about the poor whose lives and health were on hold in that coverage gap:
As I wrestled with this decision, I thought about my Mom’s struggles raising five kids with very little money.
I remember my Mom’s heartbreak when she could not afford to give my younger brother the treatment he needed when we learned he had a hip disease.
She eventually found him a Shriner’s Children’s Hospital hundreds of miles away...where my brother would go back and forth for treatment.
My Mom was a proud, strong woman who wanted to make it on her own without help. But how would she have felt if she knew she was denied help that she was already paying for?
Rick Scott of 2013, allow me to introduce you to Rick Scott of 2015, who thinks denying help to those who are already paying for it is just what the doctor ordered, because OBAMACARE!
Mom would be so proud.
In sum, Scott used his mother's death as a way to fool the press and the voters prior to an election, into thinking he was now a compassionate human being, when in fact it was a scheme to keep those federal flowing while continuing to deprive Floridians of Medicaid under Obamacare.
But don't you dare call it a "ruse."
Yes, this is the same man who says he refuses to expand Medicaid because he says you "can't trust the federal government."
It's also the same man who sent this out on Twitter just as he was about to expose his non-ruse of using his dead mother to trick the government into funding his version of privatized Medicaid, while also suing them on the taxpayer's dime, because they cut the funds off:
Ruse, thy name is Rick Scott.