Wake Up Florida. You elected a man to run your state that was previously convicted of fraud against the U.S Government and American Taxpayers by defrauding the Medicare System. This man now is in charge of a state that has one of the highest numbers of seniors as residents.
All around the country voters went against their best interests being led to the slaughter with lies, intimidation, fears of ‘spreading their wealth’, fox propoganda and anti-Obama rhetoric. The result is proving to be disastrous for Americans all across the country.
The ones who will end up most in need are the very ones that handed these criminals the reins. Just look at Florida.
This is Part XVI of MY STUPID STATE where I document what happens when a state full of Democrats elect a veto-proof, right-wing legislature along with a teabag, CRIMINAL governor to lead us. (Once again, yes–an actual bona-fide criminal who literally stole from seniors, who subsequently elected him.) This is my documentation of my beloved but idiotic state of Florida’s slow decent into chaos.
How bad can it get? At least we are finally seeing the REAL reason he wanted to be governor. First, let me bring you up to speed with 5 things you need to know:
1. Rick Scott made millions as CEO of Columbia/HCA. Well, technically, he made it through Medicare fraud, but Columbia was the vehicle.
2. After he was kicked out, he used his stolen money to found an urgent-care chain called Solantic. Shocking…Solantic also engaged in multiple, multiple forms of fraud.
3. Scott absolutely hated the health care reform bill. In 2009, he founded a national front group to run ads to tell people just how bad it would be for them. He spend 5 million of his own money just to let us know this…with no ulterior motive whatsoever.
4. He had a COMPLETE lack of interest in anything about Florida–until he suddenly decided to run for office last year. He spent 70 million of his own funds to win it.
5. In case I forgot to mention it. HE. IS. A. F%^&ING. CRIMINAL.
So these facts we well known and available information for voters in Florida BEFORE they went to the polls. Did the ignore it? Not Research?
Yet look closer. From his budget proposal to policies he pushed just last week, we have one BIG reason he is now our governor.
In just four short years in office, Scottie is poised to make such a massive fortune that he could hire a Koch brother to plunge his toilet!
Wait. Isn’t he rich already? He listed his net worth at $219 million when submitting the election forms. That would be plenty for most, but for people like Scott, it is abject poverty when you look at multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers. And for people like that, it is never enough. Its the same reason they fight tooth and nail for extra tax cuts and don’t care if we have to cut every social service, kick every poor, disabled kid, and spit on every teacher to get it.
Right now, it is generous to say that Scott has a “questionable” relationship with Solantic. His co-founder at Solantic vehemenently denies that Scott is involved in day-to-day business. In fact, she said that he no longer takes business calls after he was elected. (I would really f%^#ing hope a governor of a major state wouldn’t also try to run a business, but she thought it was a big concession.)
But us libral critics, never satisfied, selfishly insisted he do more to sever the financial relationship with Solantic in order to avoid an obvious conflict of interest.
And in January, our ethical governor FINALLY did. He transfered every bit of his Solantic stock.
I should be happy. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he is somehow still invested in Solantic.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that the person he transferred all of the stock to WAS HIS WIFE!
Now, Florida does have an Ethics Commmission. But this underfunded, toothless agency did nothing after three visits from Scott’s legal team. Want a transcript of the meetings under our Sunshine Laws? Too bad. There weren’t any! Whoops. They must have forgot… three times in a row.
Bottom line… Solantic makes money, Rick Scott’s wife makes money, and I’m sure somehow, someway, Rick Scott will get a piece of that.
But our governor wouldn’t be so blatant as to make any policy to funnel money to Solantic? My God, we would have to be some kind of stupid state to overlook something like that.
You be the judge:
1. Solantic primarily deals with people who have high premiums or no insurance. The main competitor for Solantic are publically-funded state clinics run by the FL Dept. of Health. Scott’s budget proposal cuts ALL funding to these clinics!
(Yes, more than one person has pointed out the irony of him wanting pill mills to stay open while completely eliminating clinics that help the poorest Floridians.)
With the elimination of its biggest competitor, SOLANTIC profits will explode.
2. Gov. Scott wants to require ALL RECIPIENTS OF MEDICAID TO JOIN PRIVATE HMOs.
By pure coincidence, Rick Scott’s wife’s company doesn’t accept Medicaid, but SOLANTIC does accept private Medicaid HMO reimbursments! (ca-ching)
No conflict of interest there.
3. As you learned if you watched Jon Stewart’s hilarious take on Ric Scott last Thursday, the man signed an executive order requiring random drug testing of state employees at least once a quarter along with all applicants for state jobs. He is also pushing the right-wing legislature to use drug test harrassment for another group the GOP hates…welfare recipients.
We are talking hundreds of thousands of Floridians here going to clinics several times a year at least to get these tests. Hey, guess what clinic offers drug testing as a primary service?? Rhymes with MOLE-ANTIC!
4. Biggest one so far. The Palm Beach Post did a great article on this. Although Gov. Mr. Burns hates “Obamacare”, he is gladly lobbying like hell for a massive federal block grant from a state waiver that the Act allows. The article says this type of grant is worth BEEEEELL-IONS.
Slick Rick’s health policy adviser, Michael Cannon, said it would be in the form of health vouchers that consumers can use as cash for direct-pay medical care. This benefits particular clinics where patients like to pay cash.
Clinics like, (wait for it)….SOL….. (OK, I think you get the point now.)
Thankfully, our Florida Commission on Ethics has to decide whether that last one is a conflict of interest. Yes, that commission.
By the way, the commission has 9 members… 5 of which are picked by the governor. So… ya know. Just count on him to do the right thing.
It took me just a few minutes to look a little further on Rick Scott. Politicfacts account of the Columbia/HCA fraud
Was Scott running Columbia/HCA when it found itself at the center of a massive federal investigation? Yes.
Did the company pay a record $1.7 billion in government penalties and fines? Yes, Columbia/HCA paid.
And as we checked in this item, did his former company commit fraud? Yes, it pleaded guilty to fraud charges as part of a settlement.
Of course, the million-dollar question is how much of the blame ultimately falls on Scott? And that’s an answer we can’t provide.
Scott was in charge so he bears some responsibility and has said so. But there has yet to come to light any detail of how much he knew, and when he knew it.
Though that won’t keep us from looking.
McCollum’s campaign, in a statement, said Rick Scott’s former company Columbia/HCA committed fraud. We rate the statement True.
would have enough for me as a voter to have serious reservations about this man.
Did FL voters not know, not care? How did they make such a grave mistake?
Update: Founds this great article also on Governor Rick Scott and his dirty deeds.
Big daddy is in the house, and he’s cleaning up government fraud and waste by those awful, horrible, lazy, entitled state workers and the welfare bums won’t get away with it anymore! In other words, keep your eye over here, on the state workers and the welfare recipients while Scott dips his hands into the wide-open cookie jar of your tax dollars and just takes what he wants. After Enron, our non-activisty supreme court ruled that enriching oneself at the taxpayers cost is not illegal. So technically, Scott’s theft of the taxpayers to enrich himself is not prosecutable this time around.
No wonder he ran for office.
Florida does, however, have an ethics code that supposedly prevents them using their office for private gain. Scott spokespeople led voters to believe that Scott would recuse himself regulatory decisions that might impact his single largest financial holding, Solantic, since he refused to put the stocks in a blind trust.
Speaking of money, those drug tests will cost 2-3 million a year for taxpayers, plus the costs of the inevitable litigation. But it’s worth it, Scott’s administration assures us, for the peace of mind that your tax dollars won’t be paying for some drug addict to have a job.
Again, no need to concern yourself with Scott’s fortunes, as he owns a stake in S&S Family Entertainment as well as having been tied to Fox News via WebMD and Fit TV. Color yourself shocked. You might also like to know that Solantic has been subjected to numerous employment discrimination suits, stemming from an alleged Scott policy of not hiring overweight or elderly people. Also, Scott was once business partners with George W Bush.
And we wonder why things aren’t going well in Florida….
It seems that nosing into private healthcare decisions and playing hall-monitor to state employees is what Republicans do best. Of course, they do this best when they’re using your tax dollars to enrich their cronies and themselves.
If Scott wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he’d issue random drug tests for his doctors and nurses at Solantic, as well as monthly independent audits of the books. We can’t be too careful, after all. We have a known fraudster at the helm in Florida and he’s turning taxpayer money over to his private company. Kinda seems like we better keep an eye on him.
And he’d better keep an eye on his wife.
Wow this is just amazing. Florida better get looking into way of getting rid of this crook. This could be catastrophic for those people. Get with the movement Florida and Recall Rick Scott.