Scott’s politicking fleeces Floridians
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are hell-bent on plunging the state into a fiscal and environmental morass.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
First the fiscal. The two Republican politicians are not budging a centimeter on their refusal to expand Medicaid to cover 800,000 people even though the Obama administration requires such expansion to continue its $2.8 billion funding of hospitals to compensate for losses from treating patients who are unable to pay. Scott and the Legislature were warned a year ago, and now Scott is indignantly suing the administration in the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming the connection between the two is illegal. The administration did decide to grant $1 billion – although federal officials said this would drop the following year to $600,000 – but is siding with the Florida Senate, which has refused to cave on its demand that Medicaid be expanded. On May 1, House Speaker Crisafulli ended the legislative session early, sending House members home.
Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
On the matter of environment, Scott and the Legislature are ignoring the encroachment of the seas on Florida’s shores, which already are experiencing increased flooding in some low-lying areas at high tide.
Scott has the mind-set of the folks at Fox News. That is to say, he lies, either by commission or omission. In the case of the Medicaid funding, it’s omission. He publicly insists that Medicaid expansion would cost the state $5 billion over the next decade. No argument there; he may be right. However, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates expansion would bring in $78 billion in federal funds through the Senate’s proposed Florida Health Insurance Exchange, which the administration supports.
Politicians play, we pay
So Scott and his cohorts in the Legislature are willing – indeed, demanding – that the state give up $73 billion over 10 years, $7.3 billion a year, which we, the state’s taxpayers, will have to make up for. That is a ton of money — and it’s robbery. We have to pay dearly for these jackasses’ opposition to Obama, because it is abundantly obvious that the only motivation for this is to thwart Obamacare, which the Medicaid expansion is a part of. If that weren’t the reason, why aren’t they objecting to receipt of federal funds to cover low-income hospital patients? They aren’t objecting because that program, known as Low Income Pool, is separate from Obamacare. Scott and the House Republicans are unyielding in their demand that Florida taxpayers pay for these politicians’ hatred of Obama.
How many Floridians realize this is going on? Doubtless about the same number who are aware that Scott’s position on this issue was precisely opposite during his re-election campaign – precious few, one can be sure. Certainly not the guy who wrote a letter-to-the-editor of the Palm Beach Post a few days ago talking about what a wonderful job the governor was doing. Fool me once, shame on you conniving miscreants running the government. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Puh-leeze, fellow Floridians, wake the hell up! You already screwed up a second time by keeping the sleazy Scott in office, but you can vent your spleen on him and his like-minded Republican malefactors in the Legislature.
Cities flood, Scott fiddles
St. Augustine, Florida, America’s oldest city
Flooding in low-lying areas will only get worse, the Palm Beach Post notes. “Already, we face monumental tasks in slowing the erosion of our beaches and preserving our groundwater from the increasing danger of saltwater intrusion.” Severe flooding is jeopardizing historic St. Augustine, Miami’s South Beach streets are regularly flooded, and six of Hallandale Beach’s eight potable-water wells have been rendered unusable by saltwater intrusion.
Meanwhile, the state Legislature does nothing to deal with it, and Scott shows no leadership. Yes, his office, aided by $1 million in federal money, is supposed to working on a five-year plan to help cities cope with the sea level rise, but it isn’t due until 2016, and Scott is secretive about it. Who knows whether needed resources such as pumping systems and sea walls will be enlisted in an effort to protect the coast?
St. Augustine’s engineer said he’s gotten no help from the state, a situation the Post called “pathetic. It’s also embarrassing in a state with 1,200 miles of coastline for the governor and GOP-led Legislature to do almost nothing to help.”
Oh, but I forgot. The governor is doing a great job.
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