The Trump administration is going after the Affordable Care Act once again, and guess who they want as a "point man" to help them come up with an alternative? No one other than the guy who oversaw one of the largest cases of Medicare fraud in history. So much for draining that swamp:
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is taking the lead on Republican health care policy as the Trump administration tries once again to end Obamacare.
President Trump named Scott and fellow GOP U.S. Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana as his point people on Capitol Hill at a question-and-answer session at the White House.
"They are going to come up with something really spectacular," Trump told reporters Thursday.
Scott’s new role is a long way from his political origins in 2009 and 2010, when as one of the earliest critics of Obamacare, he launched ads arguing that pre-existing condition protections would cause premiums to skyrocket.
Scott also was the CEO of the hospital company Columbia/HCA in the 1990s, who resigned four months after a federal inquiry into the company was made public. The company was later fined $1.7 billion in 2000 and 2007 for what was then the largest case of Medicare fraud in history.
Scott was making the rounds on the Sunday gabfests this morning, and CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Scott about what their alternative to the ACA is going to look like, but failed to ask Scott a single question about the Medicare fraud he oversaw when Scott bragged about his time running that hospital company.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott who joins us from Naples this morning. Senator, welcome to FACE THE NATION. You got your work cut out for you. President Trump said you are one of the senators in charge of coming up with a Republican alternative to Obamacare. When are we going to see your proposal?
SENATOR RICK SCOTT: Well, first off I'm glad the- the president cares about health care. I've- I've- I ran the largest hospital company. I care about the cost of health care and that's what I've focused on. I know it's going to be tough. I look forward to, you know, to seeing what the president's going to put out. But with Nancy Pelosi in the House it's going to be tough to get something done. But we do know that Medicare for all which Senator Sanders is all in on, is going to just ruin our health care system.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you- are you--
SEN. SCOTT: It's going to ruin Medicare.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sorry, just to clarify did you just say that--
SEN. SCOTT: And it's also going to ruin private insurance.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Did you just say that you expect the White House to come forward with the proposal first?
SEN. SCOTT: Well I know- I know- I know in the end the White House is going to have to have their plan and I know it's going to be difficult with Nancy Pelosi. But what I'm going to focus on is how do you drive down costs? The Democrats constantly focus on access. The problem is the cost of health care is too high in this country. That's why I put a bill out this week that requires transparency at the pharmacy, at the- with the insurance companies and says we're not going to allow pharmaceutical companies to charge us more than what they charge in Europe. I had the same issue when I ran a large hospital company. And I said- I did the exact same thing, I said I had hospitals in Europe. I said I'm not paying more for drugs in Europe than I'm paying in the United States. It's- it's not- it's not fair to Americans and that's why I'm going to work hard to get that passed--
MARGARET BRENNAN: It sounds like you and Senator Sanders agree on that.
SEN. SCOTT: Well, we don't agree on much, but I'm glad he cares about prescription drug prices. But the- the problem the Democrats have is everything they keep doing is raising the cost of health care. Let's look at Obamacare--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, senator--
SEN. SCOTT: Premiums went up, co-payments went up--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Can- can you just put a button on this, though?
SEN. SCOTT: --deductibles went up.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Clearly the White House is going to have to weigh in, and the White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was on other television programs this morning saying he can promise no one will be left without health care if Obamacare is struck down. But as you've just said there is no plan yet. So how can you promise that- like a state like yours where it has the most people reliant on Obamacare of any state- how can you promise them they won't be left hanging?
SEN. SCOTT: Well, first off, Margaret, my focus is on in how do you drive down the cost of health care? That- that's what's causing people health care- health care issues. You talked- you know, I've been talking to a lot of people in my state about the- like insulin costs, how- why in the world would they go up the way they have? Now, the other thing--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But that's a cost of--
SEN. SCOTT: I- you know- whatever happens with Obamacare--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --a plan that- what if they won't have a plan at all if Obamacare is struck down? Can you promise them that won't be the case?
SEN. SCOTT: Well first off, I'm going to make- I- I think it's first off it's very important that we make sure that people have a pre-existing condition can get in- can get a health care plan. Getting the health care plan that they can afford and I- and I want to work on that with other senators to make sure that happens. We talked about it at the Budget Committee last week and everybody was supportive of that. I want to make sure individuals can stay on their parent's plans. But- but this idea of taking- the government taking over health care and running all of health care has never worked. It's not going to work. We're going- we're going to ruin the entire system. Let's focus on the problem we have. The problem is not access, the problem is the cost of health care and the unbelievable inflation we've seen. Let's start with drug prices. Why are drug prices going up the way they have?
Shameful. They have no alternative even though they've had almost a decade to come up with one, which, of course, she didn't push him on either.