Scott: We won't implement Obamacare

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TALLAHASSEE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott now says Florida will do nothing to comply with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and will not expand its Medicaid program. The announcement is a marked changed after the governor recently said he would follow the law if it were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov. Rick Scott expresses his disappointment about the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Tallahassee. (AP Photo / Steve Cannon)

"Florida is not going to implement Obamacare. We are not going to expand Medicaid and we're not going to implement exchanges," Scott's spokesman Lane Wright told The Associated Press on Saturday. Wright stressed that the governor would work to make sure the law is repealed.

Scott told Fox News the Medicaid expansion would cost Florida taxpayers $1.9 billion a year, but it's unclear how he arrived at that figure.

Scott said the state will not expand the Medicaid program in order to lower the number of uninsured residents, nor will Florida set up a state-run health exchange, a marketplace where people who need insurance policies could shop for them.

"We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians, but this is an expansion that just doesn't make any sense," he told Fox host Greta Van Susteren on Friday.

Scott has gone back and forth on the issue after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Congress cannot withhold federal Medicaid funding from states that opt out of a requirement in the overhaul to expand coverage to those just above the poverty line.

On the day of the ruling Scott was cautious about the expansion, saying he wanted to read the ruling first. Then during an interview Friday morning on a Jacksonville radio station, Scott said it was unlikely he would go along with the expansion because of the potential cost to the state.

But the governor told the Tampa Bay Times later in the day that he was still evaluating the ruling and would come up with a plan within a few weeks.

Scott was vague when asked in the Fox News interview whether he's been in talks with other Republican governors about how to respond going forward.

"Everyone I've spoken to is doing the same thing," Scott said, but when pressed for specific names, he only referenced what the governors of Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin have said in the past. His spokesman told AP he could not confirm what conversations Scott has had with other governors on the issue.

Scott, the former CEO of a hospital chain, has been a vocal critic of the health care overhaul from the start. He made his first foray into politics by forming a group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights that ran television ads criticizing the proposal before it was adopted by Congress.

Scott has also complained about the growing cost of Medicaid, the $21 billion safety net program that primarily aids the poor but also picks up nursing home bills for senior citizens. The governor backed a push by the Republican-controlled Legislature to shift Medicaid patients into managed care programs, a move that is still awaiting federal approval.

Scott has rejected federal money in the past, most notably $2.4 billion for high speed rail. His administration has also said no to some money attached to the Affordable Care Act.

But Scott has said yes to money associated with the federal stimulus program and he has changed some of the positions he advocated during his run for governor. Scott also must weigh the politics of saying no to Medicaid because of tight budgets, while it is likely he will continue to push for substantial tax cuts between now and his re-election campaign in 2014.

According to Census data released last year, Florida had the nation's third-highest rate of residents without health insurance during the past three years.

President Obama's health care law called for states in 2014 to expand Medicaid eligibility to those making up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or $29,326 for a family of four. While estimates vary, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has concluded that as many as 1.95 million more people would join Medicaid and other state-subsidized health insurance programs over the next five years.

Most of the cost, running into the billions, would be absorbed by the federal government. The Medicaid expansion would not cost the state anything until 2017 — although AHCA estimates that changes to other state-subsidized programs would require state money starting in 2014. AHCA estimates that the overall cost to the state would be $2.4 billion between 2013 and 2018 with the federal government picking up nearly $26 billion.

But other groups analyzing the potential changes contend that state officials have "hyper-inflated" the potential costs because they assume too many people will enroll.

The ultimate choice, however, won't be Scott's alone. It will also be decided by the Legislature.

Last modified: July 1, 2012
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VIEWING 74 COMMENTS
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sam
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Rick Scott please stop embarrassing us!

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Brian
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I cannot wait until this stubborn, short sighted corporate thief is run out of office. He has done nothing more than cater to insurance companies and the rich. He is one of the worst governor in Florida history and is in the top five nationally.

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destinorising
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

are you kidding me? scott must be defeated. any legisator that doesnt vote to accept the aca must be defeated. im sick of these million dollar criminals who have lifetime health insurance paid by ME denying the most basic of human services to the people in this state. where are the freaking churches on this? why arent they protesting? i wish they would spend some time and money on doing what jesus told them to do instead of keeping gay people from having civil rights. do you tea partiers realize you already are paying for people to get healthcare? either thru medicare, medicaid, or your hyper inflated health insurance premiums from gold digging healthcare profiteers? you damn socialist tea partiers should be the first ones to give up your socialist benefits that the rest of us have to pay for.

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chris balton
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Floridians will still have access to the health exchange and WILL be able to shop/choose/purchase health insurance plans that are effective 1/1/2014.

If states don't set up exchanges, then the state residents can use the federal exchange, per Obamacare rules. These rules were not thrown out by the supreme court.

The only Obamacare option that FLorida can opt-out of is the expansion of medicaid, as ruled by the Supreme Court; other parts of Obamacare are available to Floridians and the governor does not have the authority or ability to nullify this for Floridians.

See this link for more info about the exchanges, states, dates, rules, etc.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-29/news/sns-rt-us-usa-healthcare-court-exchangesbre85s1im-20120629_1_healthcare-law-health-ruling-health-coverage

In time, all states will eventually implement, as they will see value in doing so. Scott is just an angry boy for now because he didn't get his way (like he was used to doing when a CEO.)

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megamike
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

“A government with the power to force us to buy health insurance can also force restaurants to serve black people.”

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Dude
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Really? The federal government is going to pay for 26 billion and all you need to pay is 2.4 billion and you won't do it? Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

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DSa
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Good! I hope more states go this route. The Individual Mandate is unconstitutional despite what the Supreme Court says.

"We are not forcing you to buy health insurance. We are only penalizing you if you don't"... that's the same damn thing either way you slice it.

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garybrey
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm

"A national survey by a non-profit think tank gave Florida high marks for the financial health of its $126 billion state pension fund". Thank you Gov. Scott.

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stimpy@mailinator.com
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

The man who was head of a company guilty of 15 felonies, fraud, and had to pay a $1.5 billion fine has decided for everyone that they won't be implementing healthcare that will be keeping them healthy. Riiiight....Good luck with that you corrupt sack of crap.

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David Paul
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Florida must never have another "accident" like Governor Scott.

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Bill W
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Thank You Gov. Scott! You can count on my vote.

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JandT
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

The heathcare law is crap- Im proud of Florida for standing up to it! Even tho Rick Scott is a horrible person and I cant stand the sight of him.

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Jimbo
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm

#Send_Union_Cavalry

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dude
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm

is it just me or does Rick Scott look like Voldemort with a butt chin?

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mileswms
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

If Governor Scott does not feel Florida needs to obey the law, one has to ask why Florida citizens should bother to obey state law. It's pretty clear a good portion of the state population has as much contempt for the governor as he has for Obama.

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tim
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

MEGAMIKE, I would think Adolf Hitler is your HERO?

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tim
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm

MEGAMIKE, Adolph Hitler must have been your "role model"?

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Killer
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Thank God!

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Bill
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

He is consistently inconsistent. A weenie windbag.

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Ian
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm

That's not how it works idiot!

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Terrell
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Here is Mitt Romney's position on healthcare 3 years ago. If you are a republican please read this before you post because I don't know how your side wins this debate with this coming from your candidates own mouth.

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090730/column30_st.art.htm

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Josh
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I can't wait until 2014 so I can have a chance to vote this corporate profiteering scumbag out of office.

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Sandy
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Our governor is such an idiot. This is all just politics at the expense of those truly in need. People will die because of him. Two and a half more years is way too long to wait to throw this partisan piece of cr#p out.

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Mandy
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

This man is a idiot....The people of FL voted for his idiot. He doesn't have a choice. If he doesn't implement the Federal government will.

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Michael
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Ok so the Republicans will now only obey the laws they like? As a Florida resident and retiree I am livid about this. Time for Scott to go. I hope the Feds file a law suit and force Florida to comply. It's my tax dollars and I want to benefit from this health care act.

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Sebastian McGarigle
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Scott is a clown who needs to be deposed of. The sooner the better. He's screwing the citizens of Florida. A man of the corporations not the people. bye Scott. SM

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Jan
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm

So now Rick Scott is a liar and a thief . Here is a guy with a net worth of 83 million dollars and he chooses to deny people in Florida affordabled health care and much needed medicaid funding. But then what can you expect from a liar and a thief.

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Jan
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm

He is going down in history as the WORST governor Florida has ever had.

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Earl
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

At this point Scott's ideological ignorance goes beyond just his comical stupidity and is actually severely harming Floridians - especially our elderly.

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timmuse
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I most countries this would be considered treason. Maybe the President will send a drone!

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kenny
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

You do realize, don't you, that the individual mandate was a Republican idea FIRST, and that it was Romney's necessary piece of the puzzle when Romneycare was implemented in Massachussetts?

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jay
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm

What's interesting, is that Oba-Soetoro-Davis has declined to follow immigration law. So now we have Scott doing the same regarding the healthcare mandate. What will happen? Anarchy?

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TBRaysFan
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm

not the first time scott has ignored laws pertaining to healthcare

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Chrisfs
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:07 am

The Federal government picks up the entire tab for Medicaid expansion, so Scott is severely mistaken or lying. The writer does not given an explanation for the term AHCA, so it's unclear who is making claims of state costs and how they are figuring them.

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Pam
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

Fortunately for insured people in Florida, most organizations that offer health insurance to their employees are already in compliance with the federal law. The governor can rant all he wants, meanwhile, the state government will implement the ruling because otherwise they'll lose the federal funds.

The health care law changes that went into effect immediately have proven very popular. Items such as keeping children on their parents' insurance plans until age 26 have helped many young Americans struggling with a poor job market maintain their health insurance coverage. That means more young people have had health care coverage for accidents, which means the hospitals have fewer write offs of bad debt caused by trauma care for people without health insurance.

It is working in Massachusetts. Let it work for everyone.

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Phil Ryan
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:53 am

These so called lovers of the Constitution and law and order have no problem flouting both when it suits them. But what governor (aka crooked moron) Scott doesn't realize is that if he is not going to set up health exchanges, it doesn't mean it won't happen. IT WILL. The Federal government WITH THE FULL AUTHORITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL IMPLEMENT A HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE WITHOUT DIMWIT SCOTT'S APPROVAL OR PARTICIPATION. I will tell you what Floridians need to do. We need to repeal YOU you arrogant crook who belongs in JAIL not in the Governor's Mansion -- you Medicare fraudster who used money FROM THAT FRAUD to BUY his election. And shame on the voters who voted for this unindicted felon.

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jmboseed
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 2:54 am

But that is nothing compared to military spending.. how bout we spend a dime on the people for once for gods sake...

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carson
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 5:50 am

love how the party of individual responsibility is so against exactly what they preach. Im not a religious man, but I'll pray the this charlatan gets the boot

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Feritas
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 5:57 am

People are not being fined if they do not have health care. They are being taxed to pay for the healthcare they will inevitably need but refuse to pay for on their own. HOWEVER, on the other side of this coin, is the fact that healthcare companies can no longer deny coverage for preexisting conditions, nor can they drop you if your lifetime healthcare costs exceed what they are willing to pay. Unscrupulous news organizations made up stories about death panels in ObamaCare. The reality is that we had it with our existing system, unless you were rich or well connected. The only difference was that instead of a mythical government panel, instead you had a faceless corporate bean counter trying to find any way they can to legally drop your coverage, or at least make it look legal. ObamaCare gets rid of that. Healthcare companies are required to pay for your care regardless of circumstances, so in return you have to pay. You do not need healthcare now, but you will in the future, just as certain as death and taxes.

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HOHNWill kathy be able to run her campaign from jail
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:29 am

All the federal government needs to do is cut off all funding for the welfare state as you cant pay your bills,bring on the civil war

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zoobeast
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:32 am

Attention Larry and Moe. A stooge is missing and is passing himself off as the governor of Florida. Please come and get him.

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John MacKay
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:43 am

What an ass.

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hugh
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:46 am

what a pig

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Lynn
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:49 am

Scott, I can't even call him "governor," as he only makes decisions based on how it will impact big business and his ultra rich friends, needs to go. And, he has health insurance, which only costs him $70. a month, while he decides not to give it to our most vulnerable citizens, our indigent children of indigent parents and elderly indigent. He is a criminal.And, his only reply is that he'll get people jobs so they can buy insurance...duh, if they do get a job, they're going to buy food, not insurance.

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Barbara
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:55 am

When are you going to stop giving our federal tax dollars away to others? Floridians pay federal taxes and would like to see some of that money coming back here. Our governor keeps giving it back so others benefit from it. Is Governor Scott volunteering to personally pay for the emergency room bills indigents run up in Florida? I doubt it. He expects to give our tax money back to the feds and let us also pay the freight on the indigent emergency care.

Have we seceeded from the federal government that we can flaunt this new law?

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John
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

Barack Hussein obama will be soundly defeated in November---there will be NO o'bamacare. Scott is absolutely right and has done a fine job as Governor. If obama had not lied, but told the people that obamacare involved 21 different taxes at a cost of 1.76 trillion it never would have passed. Let's start over and respect the American people by telling them the truth. Out with the low life flim flam artist of president we now have.

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George
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

As a Republican Governor, Rick Scott understands that before the Federal government can give anything to anybody they must first take it away from someone else. Hey Dems, capiche?

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Diana
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

Florida and its Dixie neighbors didn't want to free the slaves or desegregate either, and they were just going to defy the government's li'l ol' order anyway. Hmmm--wonder what became of that??? I guess only the rich people deserve access to health care, and if you think this is not class warfare, think again.

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Grant
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

A real man of the people. King Scott will tell the feds to what to do. And if we the people don't like it, well we can all eat banana moonpies and go to hell. Meanwhile this unconvicted felon lines his pockets and rakes in the cash. Isn't his hero Nero and Caligula ?

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lucee
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

All I wanna know is if mandatory car insurance is equally unconstitutional...& if so when are you going to surrender your drivers license b/c of the unfairness of it all....

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Don Schneider
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 10:04 am

A great example our Governor is setting. Don't like a law, lets ignore and work for repeal. If that attitude prevailed through society, we would have anarchy. The affordable health care act is the law of the land and as a result all of us are required to abide its provisions. Governor Scott may work to repeal the Act, but he took an oath of office to uphold the constitution and the laws of that comply with it. The Supreme Court has spoken, Governor, you have a responsibility to uphold the law!

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Ryan
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

Since when is this a country where a law is passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court and yet STILL some people say that are not going to abide by the law???? Whether you agree with the decision or not, the law has been passed and upheld so it is time to accept it. If you don't like it, elect members of congress who better represent you.

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Janet
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

I would bet that more people in FL are on Medicare than in any other state. Medicare is universal health care. We all pay into it, but some need it more than others. I am not sure why the GOP is rushing to condemn a law that has not even gone into effect. The parts that have already started are very popular, so give me a break. It is the same plan already put forth by the GOP is years past. If this were a GOP bill, would republicans be screaming.

By the way, lets not forget that Congress has fully paid health insurance.

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Justme
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Gov. Rick Scott thinks he's The Dictator & we're a Banana Republic. Term limits, baby!

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charlie in b'ton
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

We should not be embarrassed by Rick Scott. We should be embarrassed in ourselves for electing this criminal dimwit.

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Justme
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Congressmen pay part of their premiums just like all federal employees do. http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.opm.gov/insure/

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scout2241
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Its encouraging that most people responding here actually have intelligence and are well informed. There are only a few racist ignoramus pigs. Those who supported the jerk in Tallahassee and voted for him because they thought he was a republican are not getting disenchanted. Ole' Rick gave free federal money in the billions to other states even though thousands of jobs went with it. Now he is throwing away three years of free Medicade money for our citizens because he's so stupid he believes that Teabaggers have a party, and he'e the state leader. We have to vote all Democrats into the statehouse, so we can get laws allowing recalls of low-life creeps like Scott.

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wayne stevens
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Scott, his words are written on the wind. At least we can be certain that what he says means nothing. Just another fart in the wind.

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Barbara
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Rick Scott is bought and paid for and does whatever the Koch brothers (Charles and David) want. They finance the Teaparty and most of those "activists" are paid employees of one of the Koch Brothers many "Foundations." I know this because while at Jury Duty, we were all asked our occupation. One young woman said she worked for a few letters thrown together which I don't recall. When asked what she did there she explained that she protested and referred to Teaparties. All those Governor's who are in league with Scott are owned by the Teaparty. In fact, two Supreme Court judges attended one of the Koch brother's secret events in Palm Springs, CA, all expenses paid by the Koch's (multi-billionaires). They had been very secretive until someone outed their Palm Springs gettogether and they were in shock when they were met by Democratic protesters and the press.

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Oh Please
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Read this Rick - http://247wallst.com/2012/06/26/ten-states-dying-for-health-coverage - FL is number 6. You are an embarrassment to this state.

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tdixon
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Hey John think again u racist ass. Obama all the way. This world doesnt need another republican to put us in more debt, like Bush did and lke the ass u want in will. Everybody blames President Obama for everything that went wrong since he has been in office but nobody realizes that he was handed this crap thanks to Bush and is doing his bets to bring us out of it. As for JACKASS SCOTT he is the worst piece of crap i've seen in office.

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toni fless
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Impeach Him!!! He is a traitor and does not obey the Law of the Supreme Court or our Country!!! Who exactly does he think he is??

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Raymond
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm

"It's the ultimate conservative idea, which is that people have responsibility for their own care, and they don't look to government to take care of them."

Mitt Romney 2005 speaking about the individual mandate.

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slovie
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Rick Scott > SCOTUS/Federal Government.
That's arrogance for you!
How much is this going to cost us in legal fees?? VOTE HIM OUT

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Raymond
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Garybrey - State pensions were more than 90% funded before Scott became governor. Now it is down to 86%. So don't credit the governor with the health of the pension system.

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Todd
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm

DEFEAT OBAMA

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Robert
Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

flip....flop...flip....flop....flip....flop....

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Al
Monday, July 2, 2012 at 1:04 am

Brian, you believe that Rick Scott is catering to the insurance companies? Do you have any clue what ObamaCare is & who it was written by and for? The entire sham was authored by the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance companies. The insurance companies are going to get millions more customers and are going to be charging more for their products, which is already happening by the way. In case you had not taken notice. This disgusting piece of legislation is going to be an anvil on the backs of the very middle class Americans who have been leading cheers for its implementation. Going to save us money? Yeah right. Going to reduce federal debt? Good one. This will become a fiscal monstrosity and every state should be opting out.

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David Feagles
Monday, July 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

No surprises here. Rick Scott has never shown any respect for the law.

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David
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

Governor Scott has done everything right.

Declining unemployment while the nation is stagnating.

Controlling the state budget and the state pension fund.

Now he is protecting Florida residents from the biggest tax hike in US history with Nobamacare.

He's got my vote in the next election.

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Laura
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thats funny! Thats all i can see when i look at him now.

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Halifax
Friday, July 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

In other words, "I, the governor of a state, the chief executive responsible for enforcing the law, will defy the law." Heck of an example for the citizens of his state. Maybe we should start disobeying the laws he signs? Should be ok. How could he object?

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truecolours
Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thank you Rick Scott!! This tyranny must be stopped. The sovereign State of Florida needs to develop a plan to secede from the Union in the event that an unconstitutional so-called Marshall Law is implemented by the current rogue Federal government and lead by the Communist usurping infiltrators in the White House? Secondly, this needs to be coordinated with any and all geographically nearby States to secure a block in order to restore our Constitutional government with great hast. Safe passage should be granted to those useful idiot's loyal to the criminal usurpers to leave Florida territory. . .

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bob
Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

From day one I knew this ignoramus was no good for our beloved sunshine state !!!The GOP is tantamount to having satan set up a workshop in Tallahassee !!! Let's get rid of this scumbag , vote democrat next election !!!