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D.C. Needs to Start Rewarding Efficiency, Not Inefficiency

July 14, 2017 - 2:30pm

I recently traveled to D.C. to fight for Florida as the U.S. Senate debated repealing and replacing Obamacare. For far too long, D.C. politicians have focused only on the grand bargain of repealing and replacing Obamacare, ignoring the opportunity to make incremental changes to get rid of the taxes and mandates and roll back the federal welfare state.

For decades, the federal government has been willing to spend more than it takes in. We all know this is not sustainable, leaving debt for our children and grandchildren -- more than $19 trillion in debt and counting. The inaction we’ve seen on repealing Obamacare shows that hasn’t changed. Throughout this healthcare debate, a lot of people have been advocating for bigger government, and not a lot of people have been advocating for taxpayers. I will always advocate for Florida’s hardworking taxpayers.
While a new bill has been introduced this week, it has taken far too long to get rid of the disaster of Obamacare, and I fear the politicians in Washington will never find common ground on this critical topic. There is absolutely no question that Obamacare must be repealed immediately so Americans can actually afford to purchase health insurance.
To lower costs, fundamental reform to the Medicaid program is needed. Obamacare encouraged a massive expansion of Medicaid to cover able-bodied, working-aged adults, even as 600,000 elderly Americans and individuals with disabilities nationwide sit on waiting lists to access services through this program. 
States like Florida that have run increasingly efficient Medicaid programs, and have not expanded Medicaid, must be rewarded and treated fairly under any bill. What’s concerning is that under the most recently proposed Senate bill, tax and spend states like New York will continue to be rewarded for running an inefficient Medicaid program.
Long before the Obamacare debate, New York ran a terribly inefficient Medicaid program for decades which ran up their state’s deficit and hindered their economy. Florida is the exact opposite. We have been efficient with our dollars while providing quality care to those who truly need Medicaid. 
As a reward for its fiscal irresponsibility, for every dollar New York pays in federal income taxes, they receive a quarter back from the federal government for Medicaid. In comparison, Florida only receives 16 cents for every tax dollar that is sent to Washington. Current Congressional bills lock in past federal spending, which would make this inequity permanent.
That makes absolutely no sense. If Florida is going to get a smaller rate of return on its federal taxes, shouldn’t our federal taxes be cut? New York, with fewer residents than Florida, receives more than $33 billion per year for Medicaid while Florida receives less than $15 billion. How is permanently locking in these spending levels fair to Floridians when New York has been terribly inefficient with their taxpayers’ dollars? The federal government should cut income taxes for Floridians by 30 percent. This would put our share of federal Medicaid funding as a percentage of taxes paid on par with New York. This reduction would save Floridians thousands each year.
The federal government must start rewarding efficient states like Florida and stop rewarding inefficient states. Our taxpayers deserve nothing less. 

Republican Rick Scott is in his second term as the 45th governor of Florida.


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The "fake president" will not even make it through 1 term, Scott is a criminal. He should not even be in public office. He would not have been had he not bought his office.

Can't imagine D.C. using common sense but I have faith in our President. My hope is that each of his department heads will drain their own swamps and actually change the culture in D.C. Thank you for your SANE governing!

You have great faith in our president??? Are you totally ignoring the real news about Trump's mental capacity?...... Have you paid no attention to his undiplomatic "diplomacy"?..... Do you not care that he has surrounded himself, appointing to critical security positions, people who have meet secretly with Russian operatives?.. Do you not care that after our highest level intelligence agents agree Russia hacked into personal and political computer system, put out fake news, interfered with our elections, yet Trump offered to join with Russian on cyber agreement?... Do you not care that time after time he and his family have used his presidency to enhance their riches?.... Do you think sounding like a 5th grader means he is smart enough to be president?.............. No patriot, no one who loves this country would say they have any faith in Trump.

Great job, Governor Scott. This is why Florida is ranked #1 in objective 50-state study showing Florida is the most fiscally responsible and solvent state. Imagine if your stewardship applied across the board in Washington. Hey, Keep up great work!

This is the criminal whose company stole billions from medicare. He's not in jail where he should be. Since he stole so much he's now the expert on efficiency? You have convinced me of one thing. I will be out in the street working against you in your senate run. Keep you advise to yourself, you cheap crook.

The federal government has a reverse Midas touch -- everything they touch turns to crap. Healthcare will never be efficient as long as there is ANY government involvement. We don't need a health care system, as the Demsheviks and their lapdog Republicrats are prone to call it -- we need a healthcare market that competition and individual, free choice can prune to a state of efficiency without your "help".

Suggest you read "Lord of the Flies" through to the end.

Fact Man, and you think Obamacare is viable in any circumstance? If you are saying only systems worldwide that are viable are single payer, i.e. Government run, look at the medical care Charlie Gard is currently experiencing in the UK. The Governmental health Commission has deemed the money spent on his care is not responsible and he should be left to die! May be the reality of his condition, but I don't want a government commission making that decision for me or anyone else. Oh and regarding Obamacare, it will be totally deadbroke in short order. So what do your economist say about that? It is an abject failure from any angle. Government continually proves that cannot perform any function better than the free market.

What do you think is going to happen with the new healthcare bill? 20 million people will lose their insurance, and w/o healthcare, some of those people may die. That is not in the UK, that is Americans. It is not the insurance, it is the cost of healthcare in the US. You are subsidizing all of those Dr. Porsche cars, and paying for criminals like Rick Scott fool...

Based on what Johnny boy? Because you said so? Do you even have one fact to support anything you have said? Truth was not advocating for Obamacare fool, he was talking about healthcare costs...can't you read? You think because the US does it, any every other industrialized nation does something different, that they are all wrong? Based on what? Open your eyes man, educate yourself. Don't listen to someone else spell it out for you...

The current medical and insurance industrial complex cannot be supported. Americans pay the most in the world (by far) for healthcare and insurance, yet in most categories are not even in the top 20 in terms of medical quality of services. The current system is not sustainable. The most inefficient system in the world is unregulated capitalism. All systems eventually collapse under innate profit mongering until they collapse. Just ask our illustrious Governor who illegally bilked the Federal Government out of millions and millions of dollars of illegal Medicaid/Medicare payments while leading Columbia/HCA, resulting in the largest fine on the healthcare industry in history. He walked with his fortune leaving the tax payers on the hook and now has developed a conscience that these government costs have to be cut. How ironic. The Federal Gov't spends roughly 55% of its budget on SS and Healthcare. If they do not regulate healthcare costs, and cut Medicare/Medicaid to turn everything over to insurance companies, who we've already established operate under the most inefficient system in the world, guess what will happen? Can you say catastrophic failure. This is primarily why every other industrialized nation has gone to single payer, not because of some noble McCarthyist era claim of "socialism". It is simply because it was the most efficient way to regulate and pay for health care costs and they simply could not afford not to. Why do 40 Economists, 6 of whom are Noble Laureates oppose the bill to repeal Obamacare? Because they already know this all to be true and have expounded on it countless times. However, because politicians are owned by the insurance industry, nothing has or will ever change. Until you get the money out of politics, nothing will ever change.

It's not that capitalism has failed in medicine,it's that it's never been tried. From excessive license requirements for medical practitioners that create an anti-competitive and protected guild,to big pharma, whose vicegrip patent controls and government protected pricing keep our medicines the most expensive in the world,to big hospitals with their exclusive Certificate of Need and "Chargemaster" hidden pricing schemes,along with non-profit status abuse that have some executives making more than $4,000,000 per year all combine to create and maintain a stew of corruption that can best be exterminated by a robust and honest market.

Never said a word about "repeal and replace" until now. Rejected Medicaid support even after once supporting it's expansion. Spent a fortune of state money with Bondi defending his "policies" and spending "priorities" and protecting big money interests. Fracking.... the Sabal Trail pipeline.... Gutting the Florida DEP and Growth Management agencies. Real efficiency? Long term thinking or short term pandering.

I would like to see a report on our current health insurance (aka Obamacare) broken down as follows: 1. State 2. Number of people who pay nothing for Obamacare (i.e. Medicaid) 3. How many people pay for Obamacare and what % of their income 4. How many people receive their health insurance through their employer 5. How many people on Medicare 6. How many people are uninsured

OK......I agree with him. I usually don't, but in this case I will not argue.

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