Tim Nickens in the Tampa Bay Times on our gutsy governor:
This is the guy who helped build the nation’s largest hospital chain, Columbia/HCA. He was the CEO whose empire made $1.5 billion in profit in 1996, awarded big bonuses to top executives and ruthlessly pressured low-performing hospitals to generate more revenue.
And now in the midst of a political stalemate over health care for low-income Floridians, the governor wants to create a commission to investigate hospital profits and health care costs.
This is the former hospital executive who resigned as the Justice Department investigated his company. That company later pleaded guilty to felony charges and paid a record fine for Medicare fraud.
And now the governor says Medicaid is a flawed program and the federal government cannot be trusted.
This is the wealthy lawyer who moved to Florida just seven years before he ran for the state’s highest office. He financed his hostile takeover of the state in 2010 with more than $70 million from his tainted health care fortune, and he threw in millions more at the last minute in 2014 when it appeared he might not win re-election.
And now the governor does not want to provide 800,000 low-income Floridians health coverage and is going after hospitals that support accepting federal Medicaid expansion dollars.
So give Scott credit.
As my mother used to say in a certain tone of voice, that takes some nerve.
Well, he can’t take all the credit. The voters elected him twice.