If there is a single conservative politician who epitomizes everything that is wrong with the Republican party, it has to be Florida’s crooked (if not deranged) governor, Rick Scott. There apparently is no lie too big, too blatant or too self-serving that Scott will not use in his deliberate quest to turn Florida politics into a bigger joke than it already is. Here’s his latest.
The state’s chief economist has warned the staff of Gov. Rick Scott that his Medicaid cost estimates are wrong, but Scott keeps using them anyway, according to e-mails obtained by Health News Florida.
Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that.
But those numbers are based on a flawed report, according to a legislative budget analyst and State Economist Amy Baker. A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them. He cited them in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed on Sunday and at at a Washington press conference on Monday.
Scott knew that his numbers were completely off but he went with them anyway because he and his fellow Republicans would never let anything as trivial as truth or facts get in the way of blocking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As Steve Benen points out, the actual cost to Florida for Medicaid expansion would be in the range of $1 billion over the next 10 years – not the $26 billion Scott claimed.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand why Floridians elected this con man to govern them. It was common knowledge at the time that Scott had been CEO of a company that pleaded guilty to 14 counts of corporate felonies after a U.S. Justice inquiry discovered that Scott’s company had swindled Medicaid and Medicare for millions. The company was fined a total of $1.7 billion in what was to be the largest government fraud settlement in U.S. history.
The people of Florida knew this…and yet a majority of them elected him to office anyway. Now all Floridians are paying the price for the stupidity of so many. How unfortunate.