Rick Scott Takes Aim at Healthcare Prices

Insisting costs are too high, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is again taking on the healthcare industry.

This week, Scott and the Heritage Foundation released an online video with a simple message: healthcare costs too much. In the video, Scott insisted drugs, doctors, hospitals and MRIs all cost too much, and then asking Genevieve Wood, a senior advisor at the Heritage Foundation, to explain why.

“That’s largely because of regulatory overkill from Washington DC that imposed transactional costs on doctors and other medical professionals including compliance and reporting requirements that add to administrative cost. This all adds to the cost of care delivery,” Wood said.

Scott has proposed a series of changes to the healthcare industry. He wants to prohibit drug companies from using federal tax dollars to develop their drugs. He and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have introduced a proposal preventing those companies from charging American consumers unreasonable prices for drugs developed with federal funds. Scott also wants those same pharmaceutical companies to charge Americans the same amount for prescription drugs that consumers pay in other wealthy countries.

“American consumers are subsidizing the low-cost drugs in Canada, Europe and Japan. That’s crazy and it needs to end,” Scott notes on his website.

Scott is also targeting drug companies in the same way he went after hospitals in Florida. The senator wants to require drug companies to create a consumer-friendly database of drug prices where users would be able to compare drug prices. So far, these proposals have gone nowhere on Capitol Hill.

The Republican senators also took a shot at the Democrats over healthcare, something he has consistently done since his first campaign for governor back in 2010.  Scott took Democrats to task for continuing to support Obamacare.

“Under Barack Obama, when he ran in 2008, he promised ‘oh gosh, if Obamacare was passed, every family was going to save $2500’ (and nobody would lose their doctor by the way). Did either of these two things happen? Nope, you lost your doctor, and healthcare costs skyrocketed,” Scott said.

Scott claims 4.7 million people lost their doctors in 2014. Now he’s calling out 14 Democrats in the U.S. Senate who want to pass the “Medicare for All” plan being championed by the left. The Florida Republican said it will “ruin healthcare for everybody.”

“They will not tell you that they want to take away all of your employer-sponsored insurance. The biggest number of people by a large margin, 150 million people plus, we all get our insurance based on our employer,” said Scott.

Scott refused to expand Medicaid in Florida while he was governor, denying taxpayer-funded insurance to 800,000 Floridians. Under the expansion, the state would have paid 10 percent of the cost for most of the duration of his term as governor. Had Scott backed Medicaid expansion, the state would be responsible for the full cost of the Medicaid premiums beginning next year.


Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.


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