On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., spoke on the Senate floor “about the Democrats’ latest attempt to prevent state from having any flexibility to provide better healthcare services to their citizens” and showcasing his “solutions to lower the cost of healthcare for Americans.” Scott took aim at U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and “Medicare-for-All” plans in his speech.
Scott’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
What we’ve heard this week from my Democrat colleagues on healthcare is just more of the same. More fear-mongering, more misinformation.
The issue this week is what’s called 1332 Waivers.
These waivers allow states flexibility in how they implement healthcare programs.
It’s a simple concept. Every state is different. Every state should have the flexibility to design their healthcare programs and regulations in a way that best fits the needs of their citizens.
As a former governor, I know how important this is.
Top down, one-size-fits-all federal healthcare programs increase costs and aren’t the way to best serve the needs of the American people.
Even the Democrats realized that when they passed Obamacare, they created the 1332 Waiver for State Innovation.
As governor, I used a similar waiver authority, an 1115 Medicaid Waiver, to reform our Medicaid system and transition it from a fee for service to a managed care system.
This resulted in lower costs to taxpayers and better service and access for Florida families. A win/win.
These waivers work. And if you believe in state’s rights, these waivers are a way to give states the opportunity to provide better healthcare to their citizens.
But here’s the problem…the Democrats don’t believe in state’s rights, or allowing state taxpayers and citizens any flexibility to provide better healthcare services to their citizens.
The Democrats want these top-down, one-size-fits-all federal programs. If there is choice and flexibility, they want to restrict it. It’s how big government works, and the Democrats love big government, restrictive mandates, and socialism.
When the Democrats are not attacking Republicans for trying to dismantle Obamacare, the Democrats turn around to their supporters and talk about their efforts to replace Obamacare.
They don’t want to keep Obamacare programs as they are. They know Obamacare is not working. They want to replace it with Medicare-for-All, which would be the biggest expansion of government healthcare in history.
By some estimates, Medicare-for-All would cost more than $30 trillion over ten years. This one program would double the federal budget and would require massive tax increases on every man, woman, and child in America.
Right now, we collect $3 trillion in federal revenue. Medicare-for-All would require everyone’s federal taxes to more than double.
Coincidently, the Congressional Budget Office has, so far, been unable to do an official score of the Medicare-for-All bill.
I’ve asked the sponsor of the bill, the junior senator from Vermont, who happens to be the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, to join me in requesting a CBO score of his bill.
So far, crickets.
Why wouldn’t the senator want a score of his bill?
It’s because the Democrats don’t want you to know how much it would cost. They don’t want you to know how many people would lose the employer-sponsored health insurance that they have and like. They don’t want you to know how much taxes would have to go up.
Medicare-for-All is the Democrats’ dream. Every American on a government-run healthcare program. Every American reliant on the federal government for their healthcare.
Any effort to undermine this goal is anathema to them.
And so, this week they’re going after 1332 Waivers and claiming that they somehow undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The Senate Democratic leader claimed yesterday that these waivers are an effort to “sabotage healthcare for millions.”
I find that statement… interesting. I wonder what Democrat Governor Jared Polis of Colorado thinks of the Democratic leader’s claim that he’s trying to sabotage healthcare?
His state used these 1332 waivers to offer healthcare plans that best meet the needs of Coloradans. They’ve seen premiums go down by 16 percent.
I wonder what Democrat Governor John Carney of Delaware would say? His state also used this waiver and has seen premiums drop by 13 percent.
I wonder what Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island would say? Premiums in her state have gone down by 6 percent since they got their 1332 waiver.
Contrary to the misinformation from the Democratic leader, these waivers do not eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
These core protections, which I strongly support, remain unchanged.
This is personal for me. My brother grew up with a pre-existing condition, and my mother had to drive 200 miles to a charity hospital just to get treatment for him.
The Democrats are misrepresenting the facts about 1332 waivers because they realize they’re losing the argument.
Remember the Obamacare promise? You can keep your insurance plan, your doctor, and every family will save $2,500.
Obamacare only benefited the hospitals, the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. That is why they originally supported it.
But for the average American, millions lost their insurance and their doctors, premiums skyrocketed, deductibles skyrocketed. The result is that while more people have health insurance, less people have access to healthcare.
And now, they want to double down with Medicare-for-All.
There are three problems with our current healthcare system. All caused by government. Cost, cost and cost.
None of the Democrats’ proposals would do a thing to address the cost of healthcare. Their proposals only make the problem worse.
Keep that in mind as you listen to the Democrats fear mongering on healthcare. They have to misrepresent the information because they can’t defend their own position.
The American people don’t want and can’t afford Medicare-for-All.
We need to reduce healthcare costs and provide a safety net for those who cannot afford their healthcare, not create a federal government-organized healthcare market, which causes healthcare costs to skyrocket.
Giving flexibility to the states is an easy way to increase access and quality of care for the American people.
So, of course, Democrats oppose that – except for the Democrat governors that are doing it every day.
If you needed any more evidence of how out of touch Washington Democrats have become, look no further than their criticism and their vote against Democrat governors for supporting good policies that make sense.
Enough with the misrepresentations. Enough with the nonsense. Enough with the fear mongering. The American people deserve better.
Let’s work together to lower the costs of healthcare, so all taxpayers can get the care they need at a price they can afford.