Gov. Scott Knows "What People Want," Cuts It Anyway

March 23, 2011 4:47 pm ET — Salvatore Colleluori

Newt Gingrich

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) penned an op-ed today on the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act explaining his opposition to the landmark legislation. The benefits contained in the Affordable Care Act for consumers are well established, but that's of little concern to Scott, who believes his experience running a chain of for-profit hospitals — which pled guilty to Medicare fraud and subsequently paid the largest Medicare fraud settlement in history — makes him uniquely qualified to comment on the law.

In the op-ed, Scott writes:

As important as health insurance is, most people need a job more than they need health insurance. What people want is a good education for their children, a decent job and affordable health care. However, the unemployment rate is at 9 percent nationwide and 12 percent in Florida. I have seen firsthand how this law's mandates on employers and workers keep many of those Americans from getting jobs.

Whatever the fate of Florida's lawsuit, we will not seek any federal funds available under the health care law. We will not set up a health insurance "exchange"— a new euphemism for an arm of the federal government that implements federal regulations. These things do not represent health care reform. If an "exchange" were a good idea, the private sector would already have created one.

Scott claims he already has "seen firsthand" the negative effect of "this law's mandates," which is impossible since they don't begin until 2014. And if he really believes that "what people want is a good education for their children, a decent job, and affordable health care," then why is Scott cutting the education budget by $1.75 billion, cutting 8,645 state jobs, and refusing to accept the federal funds that would allow more Florida residents to afford quality health insurance?