Rick Scott's Plan: Blame the Unemployed, Cut Drug Oversight, and Other Goodies

Categories: Economy, Politics
You can't say the guy's not trying. Florida's favorite baldheaded former fraudster, Gov.-elect Rick Scott, has been tossing off bits of a new economic plan. Not surprisingly, most of his talking points involve limiting government involvement and letting us little guys pull like mad on our bootstraps.

Scott may be eliminating waste all over Florida, but some of his decisions seem a little tone-deaf. The highlights:

Abolish the Office of Drug Control. 
Charlie Crist put together this four-person advisory board with a mission of "Prevention, Treatment, and Law Enforcement," and it's been at the frontlines of crafting the long-delayed pill-mill regulations, which are just now starting to get off the ground. Miami New Times's Kyle Munzenrieder has a rundown of the coverage. Though the health department is taking over, the future of the pill-mill bill is in jeopardy, particularly since there's no money for it.

Blame the lazy unemployed.
This is a time-tested device for Republican politicians, but Rick Scott didn't even get his facts right. A new economic plan released by his transition team cites the research of Princeton Professor Alan Krueger, which says that unemployed people spend "only 20 minutes a day" looking for work. The only problem? They misunderstood the research, says Krueger. "They misspelled my name and misused my study!" he said. 

The cut-man cometh.

Defraud Reform Medicaid.
As head and founder of health-care giant Columbia/HCA, Rick Scott oversaw a systematic $631 million robbery of the American government through false Medicare claims. His new plan to reduce government spending includes a proposal for Medicaid that -- well, frankly, it doesn't make any sense:

Reforming health care for Medicaid recipients (through a waiver), and state employees to consumer directed care will lower the cost of health care, increase choice of health plans, and save taxpayers' $1.8 billion.

We're betting that whoever typed that had a strong sense of the absurdity of the situation.

Ransack environmental regulations.
This one isn't so surprising from a big-business guy, but the way he wants to do it is unconventional. Scott's transition team hopes to combine the state environmental, growth management, and transportation departments into an amorphous blob called the "Department of Growth Leadership." Holy crap, that sounds like a step in an addiction-recovery plan. Any new environmental regulations would be evaluated by whether they create job growth. And not for bald eagles.

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