Obamacare Shaping the Rick Scott/Charlie Crist Narrative in Florida

Categories: Politics

Scott-Crist2.jpg
The latest numbers say that about 980,000 Floridians have signed up for private insurance through Obamacare. That's up from 440,000 in February and March.

And, as the AP correctly predicted weeks ago, the state is well on its way to blowing out its original projections.

For his part, Charlie Crist is embracing the numbers, calling them "great" and making sure everyone knows the man he's trying to unseat from the governor's office -- Rick Scott -- has been doing all he can to block Obamacare from Florida.

Scott himself has been looking for folks who might be frustrated with Obamacare -- namely, seniors -- to talk things out. But this strategy seems to have blown up in his face as well.

See also: Broward College to Host First Debate Between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

The consensus has always been that Florida would be one of the major states lagging in Obamacare sign-ups.

Scott, the Republican-led Legislature, and other GOP leaders have done just about anything to block the federal workers called navigators hired to help people enroll for the Affordable Care Act.

In September, Scott wrote a letter to Congress to try to have navigators banned from entering county health departments and refused to give federal aid to move things along.

But even in the face of rising sign-up numbers, and Florida being an unlikely Obamacare success story, Scott has been dogged in trying to get his message out that it's bad.

Just this past week, Scott visited a Boca Raton senior center for a roundtable discussion to hear about how Obamacare is a terrible thing. Instead, got praise for Obamacare and tales about how content these seniors are with the overall experience so far.

From the Sun Sentinel:

"I'm completely satisfied," Harvey Eisen, 92, a West Boca resident, told Scott.

Eisen told the governor he wasn't sure "if, as you say," there are Obamacare-inspired cuts to Medicare. But even if there are, that would be OK. "I can't expect that me as a senior citizen are going to get preferential treatment when other programs are also being cut."

Ruthlyn Rubin, 66, of Boca Raton, told the governor that people who are too young for Medicare need the health coverage they get from Obamacare. If young people don't have insurance, she said, everyone else ends up paying for their care when they get sick or injured and end up in the hospital.

When the governor asked the seniors if they had found any doctors opting out of Medicare, most said no.

Meanwhile, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has also done her part to try to derail Obamacare navigators in the state, claiming they're not properly trained to handle medical information.

"Navigators are not allowed to recommend insurance companies to clients," one navigator told New Times in March. "All we do is sit down with them for an hour, help them sign the application, and guide them through the process.

"People come into it thinking that they won't be able to see their doctor," she said. "They hear horror stories about the health-care system in Europe, how they'll be forced to wait in endless lines and not even see their own doctor, but it's not like that."

For his part, Crist has been a staunch supporter of Obamacare, even during the rough times, when the Affordable Care Act sign-up website kept crashing and the administration was getting heat from all sides.

In meeting with West Palm Beach reporters back in November, Crist admitted that things were off to a bumpy start but insisted that Obamacare was a good plan.

"Now's the time you need to show him what a friend you are," Crist said. "It's easy to be with him when he's rolling along, but when it's tough, the tough get going."

Now, with the latest news of Florida getting near the 100,000 mark of sign-ups, Crist is all about the big enrollment numbers and hitting Rick Scott where it'll hurt.

Crist expressed this enthusiasm in an email statement:

"This is great! Despite every obstacle to health care that Rick Scott put up, almost one million Floridians now have affordable health coverage, and even more Floridians would have coverage today if he had accepted federal funding for Medicaid or set up a state based exchange. If Rick Scott had his way, Floridians would be losing their health care because of coverage caps and unable to find affordable care because of pre-existing conditions."

Scott and Crist are set to debate October 15 at Broward College.

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12 comments
winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

This is a boondoggle.  Like Obama said a pig with lipstick is still a pig.  It will cost trillions, give poorer coverage, force employers to drop coverage of employees; forcing them to buy their own insurance at higher rates. Those who do not cowtow to the Grand Poobah's plan will be fined, excuse me, "taxed" because of non-participation.  This plan stinks. 

And yet.  The spin is still everything is great. 8 million of 350 million have signed up. Yippee!  1/3 have not paid but  no mention of that.  Wonder what the median age of those 980,000 Floridians is and how many have paid?  We'll never get those stats from the govt. because they are, as Al Gore said, "An inconvenient truth."

fire.ant
fire.ant topcommenter

@winsomelosesome

The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

Obama's choice to spend his initial political capital on health care reform may yet turn out to have been a master stroke.

winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@fire.ant

In your case one can hope.  I fear not.  And don't believe, for one second, the Democrats are going to run on Obamacare's benefits in '14.

"The dogs bark, the caravan moves on."

Sounds like the WH response to Benghazi

winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Nothing any previous administrations did or did not do changes anything about the current situation.  That is an old tactic to move away from what is at hand now. Shift the conversation to Bush.  Won't work anymore.  Time to own the crap you brought in. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@winsomelosesome @fire.ant  


... so what did Cheney and Bu$h tell the families of the 3000+ hapless U$ troops who died for the Greedy Repuglycan LIES while participating in the illegal attack, invasion and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan ?


When will the Criminal Bush Junta be prosecuted for their War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity?



winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay


I'll get over it when someone, ANYONE, is arrested and prosecuted for it.  Oh wait, the video producer is still in jail, right.  Well, that must be it.


"Nothing to see here, move along."



winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@fire.ant


Re #1 ..........Ditto


#2  Tell that to the families of the 4 dead Americans. Nothing to see here. Move along.


winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@fire.ant


Re #1 ..........Ditto


#2  Tell that to the families of the 4 dead Americans. Nothing to see here. Move along.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@winsomelosesome @fire.ant  


Benghazi = collateral damage.


Get over it.

fire.ant
fire.ant topcommenter

@winsomelosesome @fire.ant 

1) Re Obamacare politics: Be careful what you wish for.

2) Benghazi is when Fox/GOP jumped the shark, and over the moon. Plays well in the echo chamber, though.

winsomelosesome
winsomelosesome topcommenter

@fire.ant


"Dems are running on Obamacare now and it will only get better." As a Republican I could not hope for more.


Think you're wrong on Benghazi. Lowest point of this administration. It's when they jumped the shark.




fire.ant
fire.ant topcommenter

@winsomelosesome

Dems are running on Obamacare now and it will only get better. Best "train-wreck" ever.
 

And the Darrell Issa Show? Best clown act since Tail Gunner Joe left town. There's no there, there, bub.


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